Amazon.com Widgets

Joe Morris: Age of Everything (2002)

By Published: | 10,895 views
Joe Morris: Age of Everything No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Back in the '60s, jazz players made a startling discovery: density can lead to weightlessness. With the onset of energy music came the revelation that emotional intensity, harmonic freedom, and piercing improvisation can yield a spiritual enlightenment unattainable by other means. John Coltrane, an icon from the period, found over time that he was able to communicate on a higher level when he let go of the constraints that rein in most jazz players.

Guitarist Joe Morris learned this fundamental rule long ago, and ever since the late '80s he has forged a path that has revealed him to be one of the greatest jazz innovators of recent years. With Age of Everything, Morris returns to his own record label after a number of recordings with Soul Note, AUM Fidelity, Leo, and other progressive jazz labels. The disc's title and the formidable hunk of granite on the cover both express a respect for time; yet the playing here emphasizes the transcendence of immediacy. Morris's trio starts from relatively simple structural units and then uses them as a touchstone for ideas conceived in the moment. The second tune, "Way In," for example, never really lets go of a bumpy groove, but Morris's guitar work shoots it into another realm. Drummer Luther Gray and bassist Timo Shanko gladly straddle the line between composition and improvisation, feeding off each other's energy and providing a solid musical platform. At times Shanko and Morris seem connected by subliminal energy when their lines merge and separate; Timo Shanko is clearly one to watch.

Some listeners may find Morris's sheer virtuosity and energetic playing a bit overwhelming. His pointillism dances around ideas, hinting at resolution but rarely offering it at face value. Before any dust has a chance to settle, he's taken his ideas to a new plateau and danced after yet another spirit.

But that's where Joe Morris holds true to the tradition. His music revolves around seeking and expansion, just like all the landmark figures of free improvisation. Age of Everything may feature a high degree of harmonic and melodic complexity, but that's just rocket fuel for spiritual enlightenment.

Visit Joe Morris and Riti Records on the web.

Note: this record is a top ten modern jazz guitar pick.

Track Listing: Tree Branch; Way In; Age of Everything; Telepathy.

Personnel: Joe Morris: guitar; Timo Shanko: bass; Luther Gray: drums.

Record Label: Riti Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?