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Monday, April 13, 2009

Search - Today Is Tomorrow (Search Music, 2008) ***½

With the first notes of this record, you can hear that Ornette Coleman is not far, or at least that Don Cherry is not far. I've been racking my brain to find the exact spot where Cherry plays the phrase that is used as the theme of the first piece "Blues If It Is", I can hear it, with Haden's arco bass in accompaniement, but only in my head. I will share the track below and will thank the reader who can find it for me. Anyway, the band is called Search and consists of RJ Avallone on trumpet and wooden flutes, Matthew Maley on tenor saxophone and clarinets, David Moss on bass, and Bryson Kern on drums. I like the emotional opening track, the middle-eastern flavor of "Herds", the second piece, the openness of "Next", the joyous theme of "Joujouka", the dark theme of "Day Terrors", but then some of the other tracks, especially the more boppish ones, are all too familiar and predictable, going back to the early free jazz of the 60s without adding much. In search of the Don Cherry phrase in my head, I listened again to the best Ornette Coleman Quartet, i.e. "Old & New Dreams", the band that played his music but without the master himself, and to me still one of the best bands ever. It all still sounds so fresh, so joyful, so deep, so creative, and I know, it's unfair to compare this band to them, but the difference is of course huge. "Search" has the skills, both in the compositions and in playing the instruments, but this band could do themselves a big favor by indeed looking at tomorrow, and to get rid of the past. Create your own voice, guys. Even more. Very promising debut.

Listen to "Blues If It Is"

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© stef