Quodia — The Arrow
(7d Media 837101333931, 2007, CD+DVD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01Several years in the making, Quodia is the brain child of Warr guitar masters Trey Gunn and Joe Mendelson. Somewhat similar to many of Laurie Anderson's multi-media productions, the Crimson alumnus has jointly created a multi-faceted work unique, but not easily assimilated. Two guest narrators (Regina Spektor and Nadia Valencia Mazuela) as well as Gunn's plaintive spoken word are the focal element of the project creating imagistic novelettes. Best of breed include "Water Woman," where an overly thirsty nag is undone by mischievous birds; and "I Saw Two Hands," where a muted trumpet introduces a steel drum backed passage. Perhaps the creepiest vignette is "A Boy Comes By," where the duo set up an funky alternating rhythm and drive it home as the main character links both the hand and the arrow elements into his possession. Percussion tracks from both Matt Chamberlain and Pat Mastelloto help build tension and rhythmic structure at crucial moments in the storytelling. At times moods are imposed similar to Peter Gabriel's acclaimed soundtrack, Passion, where a wordless traditional vocal leads into a serpentine lead line. With the visual element of the project available on the dual disc, the project is fully realized in capturing the full attention needed for these insightful allegories. Gunn's active participation with Pat Mastelloto in KTU and Eddie Jobson's UKZ project may back-burner this ongoing effort in the near term, but I suspect Gunn and Mendelson have only started the Quodia journey.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more