Amazon.com Widgets

Joe Morris: Singularity

By Published: | 5,375 views
Joe Morris: Singularity No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

One night before a show, I had the opportunity to overhear a conversation Joe Morris was having with another member of the audience. I didn't catch a single word, but what struck was the way he accompanied the dialogue on his guitar. Some players might call this process "warming up"—but I wonder if Morris is ever "cold." The connections between speech, gesture, and response all flowed naturally from his hands through the unamplified guitar. Unlike a lot of guitarists, Morris has completely overcome the boundaries imposed by his instrument. He has achieved a mind-body fusion that translates into musical expression of the highest order.

On Singularity, Morris performs solo on the unamplified (acoustic) guitar, a departure from his usual electric work. While his plugged-in tone is "clean," the acoustic instrument offers additional possibilities for tone, texture, and resonance. The compositions on this disc (all by Morris) provide a unique setting for him to explore ideas without being restricted by arrangement or formula. Certain passages feature drone-like small-interval alternation; moments later he flies free through scraps and shards of fiery expressionism. Other pieces feature elaborate chordal development and more obviously structured progression. A look at the titles of these tunes offers a hint at the abstract purity of the ideas contained within.

Morris rarely offers more than a hint at the harmonic elements involved in his playing; the rest of the sound space is left wide open for the listener to fill in. Understatement, even during torrents of notes, is the operative concept behind the guitarist's work. Swing becomes an entirely new feel when it's dosed out in two or three-note units. While Morris has done some of his most exciting work in trios, quartets, and larger groups, the solo setting offers a completely unfettered opportunity for him to explore ideas. The cover photo on Singularity—his daughter's outstretched hands holding a flower—offers a completely a propos metaphor for Morris's music. It's just innocent enough to grasp the highest forms of beauty.

Track Listing: Light; Gravity; Creature; Shape; Atmosphere; Sense; Liquid; Dimension; Flight; Rock.

Personnel: Joe Morris: steel string acoustic guitar.

Record Label: AUM Fidelity

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

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.

Article Search