Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Free Nelson Mandoomjazz, Awakening of a Capital

Some music may not overwhelm you with technical prowess but nonetheless sounds so "right" that you respond and get something good out of it. The album by the trio Free Nelson Mandoomjazz, Awakening of a Capital (RareNoiseRecords) is like that. It is a trio of Rebecca Sneddon on alto sax, Colin Stewart on electric bass, and Paul Archibald on drums.

This is music where the bass guitar is very much a key to the overall sound. Colin gets a beautifully full and out-front tone, sometimes with some distortion, sometimes just vividly electric. He lays down riffs that hypnotize and get support from the openly free-rock drumming of Paul. Rebecca plays atop, often in an outside-avant way with the speaking-in-tongues excitement of new thing, sometimes with a more melodic approach.

The music reminds me a little of what Bill Laswell, Peter Brotzmann and Sonny Sharrock used to do with various good drummers, only there is no Sharrockian guitar presence, which leaves a bit of space for the music to open up. There are nicely worked out compositional jazz-rock lines and a kind of consistency to the music that makes you dig in after a while and let the music wash over you.

If you love the electric bass anchorage of an open trio this will immediately grab you. After a while the whole gestalt, the trio as a unit makes more and more sense. Nobody is playing especially fast, but rather it is a slowly unfolding thing, metal influenced (the "doom" reference has some significance to the sort of music here) yet open and free, too.

I found it an excellent listen.