Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dave Mihaly's Shimmering Leaves Ensemble, Eastern Accents in the Far West

Time for something a couple of years old, from 2010, that's worth considering. It's drummer/pianist Dave Mihaly, a former student of Barry Atschul (as I am) and Andrew Cyrille, and a weaver of musical composition. The disk at hand features his Shimmering Leaves Ensemble. The album is called Eastern Accents in the Far West (Porto Franco 016).

The band is Dave plus Ara Anderson on trumpet, bass trumpet, sousaphone and drums, and David Boyce on tenor and drums. Dave and band's decision to go with 14 shorter cuts gives the album a fast pace, with everything from Trane-Elvin swings, to post-AEC funk to free-flowing essays with thematic guideposts.

Dave sounds very loose and creative on drums; Ara and David have earthy, limber avant sounds and attacks on their respective instruments.

The sheer variety of compositional-improvisational feels and the concise nature of each track makes this album easy to digest and quite pleasurable. Like the best of the AACM artists, these are players with a sound personality and an ensemble with bite and tang. Nice work!

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