Friday, March 11, 2016

Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined, Eat the Air

I am catching up with a good CD that came out last year, namely Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined ensemble and their Eat the Air (Skirl 029). It is a potent sextet of Areni Agbabian on vocals, Sean on tenor sax and bass clarinet, Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, Harvey Valdes on guitar, Greg Chudzik on bass, and Joe Hertenstein on drums. They have a sound that gets its initial thrust from the compositions, most by Sonderegger, some with Joanna Cooper and her evocative, poetic lyrics, and one by Chudzik and Cooper.

This is modern, "progressive" jazz, with excellently burnished, melodically and harmonically original songs and Areni Agbabian's mellifluous voice bringing us to a very nice place--and then the potent solo-rhythm punch of reeds, trombone, guitar and voice soloing collectively and individually with some very open and driving bass and drums. It has at times some of the unwinding, irregular funkiness of classic mid-period Dave Holland groups but then it takes that into its very own zone.

The combination of compositions, ensemble and soloists comes together in ways that haunt you and intrigue.

This is a group effort, an outstanding one, with a special original sound and prodigious depth. I find it all pretty irresistible. It is a find, a sleeper perhaps, but a great example of what is NEW out there. Highly recommended.

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