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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Daniel Carter, Leo Genovese, William Parker, Francisco Mela – Shine Hear, Vol. 1 (577 Records, 2023)

By Matty Bannond

New York never sleeps, rests its eyes or lowers its voice. The unceasing activity of the iconic metropolis recently inspired Daniel Carter to write a poem – and that poem inspired this three-track album by four artists who are part of the furniture, carpet and wallpaper at 577 Records.

Shine Hear, Vol. 1 is the first material released following a recording session in July 2023, with a second part waiting to escape. It brings together Carter on saxophone and Leo Genovese on piano, with Francisco Mela adding drums and vocalizations derived from Cuban traditions. William Parker plays bass, as well as gralla (a Catalan double reed instrument) and shakuhachi (a Japanese end-blown flute made of bamboo).

The title track is five and a half minutes long, and gets sandwiched between two much longer pieces. It’s the most melodic and pretty part of the record, with a bluesy saxophone phrase. The bashful voice of the shakuhachi is foregrounded here. The bass and drums back away to make space.

For the rest of the album, things get wild and stay wild. “Intertext Salute” is a bloodbath at times, with the musicians charging full-tilt in polar opposite directions. The mood does soften for a short period that suggests nighttime in the Big Apple. But the heavy traffic returns and the pace picks up again, with the saxophone and gralla trading throat-punches.

“Glisten Up” has a similar spirit. Carter’s saxophone makes several attempts to cool things down at the halfway point, and calm heads eventually prevail before the track drifts to an exhausted close. But the listener always senses more rough stuff lurking below the surface. There’s no chance to truly settle.

The passionate playing on Shine Hear, Vol. 1delivers an intense listening experience, with these four skillful improvisers displaying their deep expertise throughout. Like its mega-city muse, the album never sleeps, rests or speaks in a lowered voice. This is chaotic, dirty music. And full of urgent energy.

The album is available on CD, limited-edition vinyl and as a digital download here .


Kruse said...

Nice review of a great album. But it's funny how we can hear things so differently - I don't really hear the chaos or bloodbath, the wildness/freedom that you describe. Energy:yes! But my feeling is that it's quite organized and welltempered. And "raw" beauty.

Matty Bannond said...

Hi Kruse, I agree with you! We all bring our own unique context to the music, and our own unique sound systems too. Perhaps I'll revisit the album and see if it gives me different feelings with a bit of distance. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Matty, I enjoyed the piece and learned from it. Great stuff, Sammy (phone only let's me use anonymous setting on here).

Matty said...

Thanks Sammy!