Michael Musillami Octet: Spirits (2005)
The tour de force is the fifteen-minute "Spirits Rebellious," arranged by Ellington alum Art Baron. The song starts off slow and shimmery, with formidable front line work by Baron and Christensen as the rhythm section cooks steadily. Musillami then breaks into an extended Hendrix-like solo, punctuated by a panoply of mysterious sounds, cries and whooshes, and subliminal vocalizations from the rich array of instruments. After piano and drum solos, the spirits have been soothed and the melody returns, but with hints of future rebellions to come. Also excellent is "Namibian Sunset," a warm, uplifting song with an unabashedly pretty melody, as well as "Squid Fantasy," which features an assertive horn line and rich layers of percussion.
For an eight-piece band composed of powerful, first-rate musicians, the octet manages to play quite gently, bringing the beauty of Chapin's songs to full flower.
Track Listing: 1. Squid Fantasy 2. Star 3. Nambian Sunset 4. Goody 5. Spirits Rebellious 6. Circles 7. The Walking Wounded
Personnel: Michael Musillami- guitar, altered guitar; Peter Madsen- piano; Cameron Brown- bass; Tom Christensen- tenor sax, alto sax, alto flute, english horn, wood flute; Art Baron- trombone, bass recorder, didgeridoo; Tom Beckham- vibes, marimba; Satoshi Takeishi- percussion; Michael Sarin- drums;
Record Label: Playscape Recordings