Exposé Online banner

Tatvamasi — Parts of the Entirety
(Cuneiform Rune 371, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-01-07

Parts of the Entirety Cover art

If some genius sat down and analyzed my listening tastes, they could conceivably derive a formula to predict what I would like. A musician could then use that formula to compose music specifically to appeal to my taste. (I suppose that's what I do myself unconsciously when I'm composing my own music.) I'm not saying that anyone has actually done this — that would be a statement of ridiculous hubris on my part — but if they had, Tatvamasi could very well be one possible output. It's sorta jazz, sorta rock, a mixture of composition and improvisation, a balance of tonal and dissonant, with playing more inventive than technically flashy. The instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums, sax) provides just enough tonal variety to not sound samey from track to track; the guitar uses various effects to mix it up a bit more, and the sax is used fully — you know, a bit of the squawking that so bothers some people, but just a bit, not overdoing it. The compositions are mostly based around riffs and melody lines rather than chord progressions, so there's a very natural feeling to the music, as if the players just inhabit the tunes so thoroughly that these are the sounds they make without thinking. Which is not to say that the parts don't fit together. On the contrary, I get the distinct impression that a fair amount of planning went into this, though part of the planning involved setting parameters for improvisation. Bass and guitar sometimes come together with great unison parts, but more often their parts complement each other, with the bass picking up accents from the guitar. The sax parts participate in this rhythmic interplay from time to time (giving fleeting King Crimson impressions), or at other times provide a harmonic counter to the other instruments. Tatvamasi is very much in line with some of my other favorite recent releases (Dylan Ryan, Jason Robinson) as well as things from the past (Kilgore Trout, Stinkhorn). All in all, an outstanding set of music, and one I'm sure to revisit for years to come.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Tatvamasi

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/parts-of-the-entirety

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Soft Machine - Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 – The challenge for any archivist of the Soft Machine catalog has been to present just what it was like to attend a performance by the classic line-up of Wyatt, Dean, Ratledge, and Hopper. Now with half...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues