Friday, June 12, 2015

The Spanish Donkey, Raoul, with Joe Morris, Jamie Saft, Mike Pride

The trio Spanish Donkey returns to us with a new outing called Raoul (RareNoise RNR054 & RNR054), available as CD or double LP.

It kicks out all the jams with a flourish, thanks to the free metal guitar of Joe Morris, the keyboard densities of Jamie Saft and the brash drumming excellence of Mike Pride.

This in a way is an all-star trio. Each player has that something special and they are determined here to make an album that is free, very dark-metal oriented but with the lucidity of outside jazz inventiveness.

Joe Morris cranks up his guitar and gives it spank and spunk with plenty of sustain and effects. Jamie Saft lays down intensely thick washes of keys that cover all the sonic and frequency possibilities for a heaviness born of a sure sense of sound sculpture. Mike Pride explodes with barrages of freedom appropriate to the heaviness of the music. He is the RIGHT drummer for this trio because he has all the energy, technique and stylistically informed originality going for this music.

Joe Morris shows us he can take his own open approach and make it densely raw and soulfully skronky in a post-Hendrix sort of maelstrom. It is the sort of performance any guitarist in the heavy zone needs to hear closely and learn from. But that's true of the trio as a whole.

This is extreme and extremely satisfying jazz metal with no pretense and pure commitment.

If you like things outside and heavy, this one will lift you up to a very high place. It is a monument in its own way. Everyone should hear it if they can deal with a boldly uncompromising excellence!

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