The Kandinsky Effect — Somnambulist
(Cuneiform Rune 408, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-03-15In the last year or so, quite a few sax/bass/drums trios have come around (Mark Lomax's trio was a recent example). It’s probably not fair to call this a trend, since the configuration has cropped up from time to time over the last 30 years (even longer if you consider jazz combos). The lack of a chordal instrument like piano or guitar lends a certain openness to the sound; of course the bass can play some chord-like material (and Gaël Petrina does so on a number of tracks), but it’s quite a bit different than having a keyboard player or guitarist in the mix. In the Kandinsky case, all three players augment their primary instrument with electronics, all the way from stomp boxes to laptops, though the electronics aren’t overwhelming, and it’s clear they could pull off a perfectly good set without all the devices. Some groups that operate in the area of crossing jazz and rock, especially trios, tend to indulge in displays of pyrotechnic technique that, while impressive enough, sacrifice feel for precision. The Kandinsky Effect does not succumb to that tendency. They are all splendid players, but tricky unison parts and flourishes of lightspeed notes are not their thing. There’s an air of looseness and spontaneity about their music that’s very satisfying. They’re well rehearsed, but center their attention on getting the mood and the flow right rather than virtuoso arrangements. Warren Walker’s sax is treated to a variety of effects, though to be honest it’s hard to tell where some of the sounds originate, given that drummer Caleb Dolister indulges in electronics as well. No matter, it’s wonderfully creative music that is adventurous without being too difficult, and quite an entertaining listen.
Related artist(s): The Kandinsky Effect
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more