The Round-up: Isolation games are a game of you


Here is some very good new music.


Burke/Chakrborty/Magnusson/Evans – Barlines & Beyond (Jazzhead Records)

The fusion of modern jazz and Indian Classical on Barlines & Beyond is more than a little bit fascinating.  Saxophonist Rob Burke, Indian Classical slide guitarist Debasis Chakroborty, electric guitarist Stephen Magnusson and tabla-percussionist Sam Evans create melodies that can either flicker like a candle flame or melt like its wax.  And in either instance, that melody is likely to be a little catchy.  The talkative chatter from tabla is an essential balance to all of the melodic intrigue, and gives strange music a friendly personality.  There’s a meditative quality to many of these tracks, which is kind of remarkable considering how effusive things get.  Music from Agra, India and Melbourne, Australia.

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Hunter Gather – Getting To Know You (Table & Chairs Music)

There’s a charismatic quality to the dreamy folk-jazz of Hunter Gather.  Whether the trio adopts a solemn tone on “I Want To Be An American” and “The Expatriot” or jack up the heat a bit on title-track “Getting To Know You,” the way in which melodies drift hazily across the horizon of a song keeps the attention riveted in place.  Saxophonist Levi Gillis, electric guitarist Ronan Delisle and percussionist Evan Woodle don’t perform these tunes so much as exhale them, and the patience in which they develop doesn’t prevent spikes in intensity anymore than it becomes a default stance of tranquility.  Music from Seattle, WA.

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Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop – Rev (Anzic Records)

Ernesto Cervini‘s sophomore release with his Turboprop ensemble is even more delightful than the eponymous debut.  Rev keeps mostly to new-school territory, but isn’t afraid to show its roots, either by slipping in a streak of blues on “The Libertine” or just swinging the time machine by for a quick stop in the sixties with a take on “Pennies From Heaven.”  On Rev, Turboprop expands by two, adding saxophonist Tara Davidson and trombonist William Carn.  The sextet formation works in all kinds of benefits, drawing out dimensions of Cervini’s sound that might not have emerged so clearly on the debut.  Bonus points for a nifty cover of Blind Melon’s “No Rain.”  Music from Toronto, Ontario.


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FAB1 – Fab1.2 (Self-Produced)

Drummer Alexander Belkov and pianist Araik Vietinghoff take a simple melodic phrase and then spend as much time as necessary exploring every little facet.  This results in a series of lovely melodic ripples that continuously layer atop one another.  The sense of repetition is mitigated by the nuanced changes from passage to passage.  Every now and then, with a track like “Bad to the Power of 2,” they’ll toss in something with the succinctness of a pop music tune.  And then there are moments, like on “Bipolar Disorder Intermezzo” where the sense of structure is allowed to erode.  These qualities simply add definition to the longer melodic reveries.  Music from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Alkestrand-Pedersen Duo – Medium (Self-Produced)

This is a pretty stunning work.  This EP by saxophonist Rasmus Alkestrand and drummer Jonas Pedersen is a heavy drone that comes on like a thick fog and fades away only after hitting its peak.  Extra percussion and some healthy servings of electronics go a long way to achieving that effect.  Just three songs, and all of them seriously mesmerizing.  Music from Malmö, Sweden.

No artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp