Best of 2016 #14: Moker – “Ladder” (El Negocito Records)


Of all the albums to land on this year’s Best Of list, it’s the 2016 release from the quintet Moker that reflects the wildest personality.  That personality, multifaceted and unpredictable, manifests as free improv pieces that send notes scattering like marbles at the epicenter of an earthquake, whimsical post-bop conversations that serve as a precursor to ultra-serious ambient jazz reveries, detours into rustic folk-jazz tranquility, and ominous ballads that speak to the heartbreak hanging over every love story and jazz-rock passages that imitate that same heart shattering into a thousand pieces.  And more.  So much more.  The quintet of guitarist (and alto horn player) Mathias Van de Wiele, multi-reedist Jordi Grognard, trumpeter Bart Maris, bassist Lieven Van Pee, and drummer Giovanni Barcella are now five albums into their Moker collaboration, and this fascinating, fun session shows they’re nowhere close to peaking anytime soon.

Artist site | Listen | Available at:  BandcampAmazon

Jazz from Ghent, Belgium.

Read more about the album with my Best of Bandcamp Jazz column on The Bandcamp Daily (LINK).