Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rising Sun - (2010)

Drawing on a wider canvas of styles than ever before, touching on spiritual jazz, deep African rhythms and Ethiopian modes, the Orchestra take their sound to new heights with stunning musicianship and virtuoso arrangements throughout. The tracks themselves flow as a sinuous whole. The reflective intro overture, Awakening, originally came to composer Pierre Chrétien in a dream, the hard Afrobeat of Agbara whips up a heavyweight groove, driven by prepared marimbas rather than traditional electric guitar lines, Negus Negast touches on dark Ethio-jazz, inspired by Strut label-mate Mulatu Astatke, Lotus Flower is a spiritual soul-jazz piece featuring the muted trumpet stylings of guest Nicholas Dyson (musician with Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Temptations and The Coasters), Mamaya moves us into heavy 12/8 Afro-jazz territory, based around traditional Guinean rhythms, the more laid back 12/8 Afro-jazz of Serenity features the flute and clarinet work of multi-instrumentalist Zakari Frantz, Consecration explores modal territory, a track composed during the very early days of the group, and the album closes with Rejoice, a storming cover in two parts of the Pharoah Sanders` 1981 classic.

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