Thu, Aug 15, 2013 - Page 11 News List

CD reviews

By Jon Caramanica and Nate Chinen  /  NY Times News Service

Spalding appears on Seeds, but only on vocals, and on fewer than half of the tracks. The album’s core personnel, sometimes known as the Chromatic Gauchos, consists of another virtuoso peer, the saxophonist Dan Blake, and a pair of wise elders, the bassist John Lockwood and the drummer Bob Gullotti.

The album, which Genovese produced himself, was recorded almost entirely in a day, though it doesn’t sound like a rush job: its range and sprawl feel well considered. Several tunes here, especially Father of Spectralism and Let’s Get High, recall the enlightened swagger of Keith Jarrett’s so-called American quartet of the 1970s. Posterior Mode suggests McCoy Tyner’s late-1960s quartet with Joe Henderson. Letter From Wayne is a homage to Wayne Shorter, whose compositional signature has rarely been forged with such loving precision.

Genovese doesn’t get lost in these evocations, if only because he has such an untroubled sense of self. Playing acoustic and Fender Rhodes pianos, Hammond and Farfisa organs, and occasionally the melodica or Melodian — none of which he approaches as a lark — he exudes a busy composure. And by refusing to privilege one historical style over another, he strengthens his claim as a polyglot. The only cover is a song by the Argentine folk hero Atahualpa Yupanqui, offered as a solo piano hymn.

Another piece that incorporates Latin American folkloric elements is Portuguese Mirror, with lyrics by Spalding, and a guest turn by the Brazilian guitarist Ricardo Vogt. It seems a likely highlight of Genovese’s concert Wednesday at Subculture in NoHo, which will feature those collaborators as well as JP Jofre on bandoneon and Brian Landrus on bass saxophone. Whatever Seeds represents, we clearly haven’t heard the end of it.

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