Best of 2017 #41: Cat Toren’s HUMAN KIND – “Cat Toren’s HUMAN KIND” (Self-Produced)


Yes, there’s the political inspiration this album is built upon and there’s also the willful channeling of music from the past, but what really makes the new release from Cat Toren’s HUMAN KIND so damn thrilling is how the pianist sets in motion a series of acts where things begin to fall apart and then come back together just on the brink of annihilation.  There’s a melody.  It’s often quite beautiful and in possession of a serious magnetism.  And Toren lights the whole thing on fire, and lets it rage out of control before, somehow, guiding it all back down to a single flame.  Sometimes the conflagration is more akin to a fireplace warmth, but the transition of divide and unity is no less dramatic.  A powerful recording.  Also, bonus points for incorporating an oud into the proceedings.

Music from Brooklyn, NY.

Read more about the album on Bird is the Worm.