Dec 19 2014
Instead is the very cool new release by the Tamar Osborn-led ensemble, Collocutor. The saxophonist finds a magical blend of influences, both regional and inter-period, so the music sounds both old and new and from everywhere. “Archaic Morning” shows flashes of modal and spiritual jazz influence, but the real competition is whether the thick groove or rich melody is the catchier element of the tune. Osborn’s flute solo is captivating.
There’s Afro-Jazz influences on “Agama,” with their rich tableau of rhythms and melodic action that effortlessly shifts between dancing and drone. Simon Finch’s trumpet solo takes the gold on this track. The polyrhythmic “Elephant Room” is a crosshatch of a pulsing tempo and crackling storm of percussive volatility, which is enhanced by the punctuated shouts and howls from the wind instruments and a back-and-forth shift between catchy grooves and smooth, harmonic glides.
Josephine Davies gets in a solid saxophone solo, but “Gozo” is all about the motion of the rhythm section as an elemental force of nature, recalling the resonance of Pharoah Sanders spiritual jazz classics, Jewels of Thought and Karma. The album’s title-track opens with a serious looseness of structure and freedom from melody, but the ensemble coalesces at the midway point and the song swings in the opposite direction, displaying a focused, straight-ahead motion and a common perspective… even as they switch things up several more times, ranging from a melodic firestorm to harmonic bliss.
An exciting album with a multifaceted attack and a wildly engaging personality.
Your album personnel: Tamar Osborn (baritone & soprano sax, alto flute), Josephine Davies (tenor sax), Simon Finch (trumpet), Marco Piccioni (guitar), Suman Joshi (bass), Maurizio Ravalico (various percussion), Afla Sackey (djembe, Ghanaian shakers).
Released on On the Corner Records.
Jazz from the UK.