Friday, February 5, 2016

Naked Truth, Avian Thug

Another good one from rarenoise records, who have been giving us consistently worthy examples of avant electric jazz-rock fusion and happily so. Today it is the band Naked Truth and the album Avian Thug (rarenoise rnr057 CD or LP). It is a very game quartet with Graham Haynes making a significant re-emergence on trumpet and electronics, Lorenzo Feliciati on basses, guitars and keys (and co-producing along with Bill Laswell), Roy Powell on all manner of keys, and fuse-prog drummer of note Pat Mastelotto.

This is post-Milesian, post-Mwandishian space music in the best tradition, but innovative and updated. There is some remarkable interplay between band members and solid, advanced compositional head structures that give the music a jolt.

Graham sounds hauntingly good here, moving the electricity of his trumpet forward beyond Miles but clearly with a reverence for the master. Pat M. gives us electric and acoustic drumming that has modern jazz-rock heft but also plenty of variability to open things up. Feliciati teams with Powell for some beautiful sound color mixes and driving power.

Think of the Miles Fillmore band and how it alternately rocked out and took it out and you will find that approach further developed in Naked Truth. There are more colors technically available to a band like this these days and so we get a more orchestrated palate of outness than was the norm earlier, plus the studio plays a role at times reinforcing sounds via some additional dubs from what I hear. But primary is the inventive imaginations of the quartet, the ability to improvise color, texture and notefulness.

So in the end we have a very musical set that rocks, wails, takes it out, and gives us fine composed landmarks along the way. Graham Haynes sounds better than ever; but then everybody hits on it. This is a band to be reckoned with! Excellent!

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