The Kandinsky Effect — Somnambulist
(Cuneiform Rune 408, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-03-15
In 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.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more