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Monday, July 2, 2007

Spaceways Inc. - Version Sould (Atavistic, 2002) *****

Anyone who would slide this CD in his player and NOT start dancing, must have icecold blood flowing through his veins. Spaceways Inc. is one of Ken Vandermark's many bands, this time on baritone saxophone, with Nate McBride on bass and Hamid Drake on drums. This band is inspired by the music of Sun Ra and Funkadelic at the same time and combines their relatively remote musical visions, but they bring it with incredible enthusiasm and respect. If you like rhythms, then listen to this album. If you love great interplay, then buy this album. If you enjoy free improv on fixed themes, then look no further. Do you like music with real soul? Then put his album in your set. Do you like emotional expressive power? This is your thing. Do you like pure esthetic beauty? I could go on and on about this album. I do not know many musical pieces where rythmic joy and interplay have been tilted to such a high qualitative level. And the power of it, also from the funk and reggae you will find here, is the music that isn't played, it's the drum beat that it isn't hit, it's about the tension in the fraction of a second when the music stops and then starts again full blast. Drake, McBride and Vandermark seem to have found their natural habitat on this album. Already from the first track "Back Of A Cab", you hear that special things are about to happen : the pumping electric bass of McBride, the economical and precise drumming of Drake, and then the deep soft tones of the baritone that suddenly starts, delving into the depths of the instrument to extract the most bluesy sounds possible. And it all sounds so magnificently simple, while it is definitely not. Few are those who can handle this level of complexity, but you just don't notice it. You just hear great music. Less is more, and how much more. And you've got it all here : quieter pieces, ("Reasonable Hour"), greasy funkers ("Size Large"), subdued free jazz ("Rothko Sideways"), some hard-blowing free jaz ("Force At A Distance"). Less is more, and how much more!


Unknown said...

i found the sound to be too clean. where's the 'cold sweat'? if you know what i mean. this kind of music should sound RAW.