Tomchess & the Lovedogs: In The Beautiful Future (2007)
Chess formulates a hybrid, world-music/jazz state of affairs on this two-disc set. With trumpeter Alicia Rau, bassist Nathan Peck and two percussionists, the band morphs North African and East Indian modalities into a forum for jazz-tinted improvisation. On the opener, titled "Oud taksim on: 19 times in 17 years, Chess' solo oud extrapolations paint a rather solitary milieu. But the quartet subsequently ups the ante on works designed with a buoyant frontline attack, accelerated by sinuous time signatures via linearly designed unison phrasings.
The band alters the velocity in spots as the percussionists lay out a fertile groundwork for the soloists. Besides using loops and an mbira (thumb piano), Chess' mystical flute patterns generate a rather blissful aura during "In the Beautiful Future. Then, on "Aletheia, they conjure up notions of a Morrocan marketplace, enamored by indigenous rhythmic instruments and Chess' alluring flute lines.
Music therapy is a hot topic these days; therefore, Chess' ensemble would seemingly fit snugly into those parameters. Here, the power of music offers a boost to one's spiritual health, which is an insinuating notion that parallels the highly entertaining groove-focused aspects of this largely euphoric encounter.
Track Listing: Disc One - Oud Taksim On - 19 Times In 17 Years; 19 Times In 17 Years; Two Paths; A Poem Change; La Fumbo; In The Beautiful Future. Disc 2 - Aletheia; Levitation Grain; Oud Taksim On - Fish And Paper Messages; Fish And Paper Messages; Oud Taksim On - The Rose Apple Tree; The Rose Apple Tree; Peace Warriors (O Coleman).
Personnel: Tom Chess: oud, ney, western flute, mbira, loops, subtextual sampling; Ravi Padmanabha: tabla, percussion, morsing; Shane Shanahan: percussion; Alicia Rau: trumpet, flugelhorn; Nathan Peck: upright bass.
Record Label: Foot Jumbo Records
Style: Beyond Jazz