Steve Tibbetts: A Man About a Horse (2000)
The oddly metered musical strands hailing from Central Asia, India and its adjoining regions are vital for jazz's lore and lure. Conjoined with music from the West, their enchanting, enthralling, and percussively melodic possibilities unwrap exotic gifts of expression and improvisation. Upon listening to its seamless integration of mesmerizing musical effects, A Man About a Horse comes forth as a recording with enveloping salutary qualities.
'Lupra' features a holistic wholesomeness, surrounded by percussive percolations, easing the listener into melodic dynamisms climaxing into Tibbetts' spacious distorted electric guitar attacks in 'Red Temple.' The passageway to the 'Black Temple,' the most extended piece, resembles a windchimed chorus of carefully crafted voices and effects that evolve into a driving march of worth. This tune allows plenty of space for Tibbetts' exploratory timing, touch, expressiveness, and fingering technique to dwell upon the fusioned spaces in this remarkable production. At times, all the musicians manage to produce a larger and fatter sound than expected with such an ensemble and repertoire.
Even in its most sparse moments, for instance, the bottoms' or perceived effects thereupon' fill up nicely into the expansive musical imagery. The 'Burning Temple' features such sonic expansiveness in a striking languid glide. 'Glass Everywhere' thunders on afterwards, egging itself onwards with glistening chords and force. Ambient, in Tibbetts' case, doesn't equal weakling, speciously ethereal, melancholic or teary eyed. Actually, this record plays itself so organically into your subconscious that it remains unobtrusive while engaging your listening with its melodic whispers, occasional thunders, upper register screeches sated in darkness-as-beauty. Its dominant' almost palpable ''aquatic sheets of music' can submerge or merely sprinkle one's ear. I would imagine that listening to the CD stoned, while watching G-Force visualizations in the MusicMatch Jukebox media window, would prove both stimulating and chilling. However, I digress'
'Lochana' features a brief transitory passage towards the end of the piece, whereupon Tibbetts effectively plays upon the lower register of his electric guitar before releasing the flow into 'Chandoha.' Such forays prove intelligent and well placed and find cognates throughout the CD. The latter composition is one of the album's best. Voiced in manifold textural statements, the production's strengths seem evident throughout the performance, particularly in Tibbetts' closing solo. 'Koshala' has playful qualities suitable for exploration and developing amidst strings and skins. Musical pitter-patters coalesce for a delightful farewell to A Man About a Horse.
Track Listing: 1. Lupra 2. Red Temple 3. Black Temple 4. Burning Temple 5. Glass Everywhere 6. Lochana 7. Chandoha 8. Koshala
Personnel: Bass: Jim Anton. Guitars, percussion: Steve Tibbetts. Percussion: Marc Anderson & Marcus Wise.
Record Label: ECM Records