Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

200

Indigo Trio: Anaya

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
Originating in Chicago with flutist Nicole Mitchell, bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Hamid Drake, the Indigo Trio derives its impetus from multiple sources. The trio's Anaya clearly manifests roots in African-American traditions, influenced by mid-eastern spiritual tenets to convey a unique picture of beginnings, growth and convergence with universal truth.

Mitchell's articulation on the flute opens this recording, bright and spry in a joyous orientation that represents the playful, uplifting character of all the music (Mitchell's "Sho Ya Right"). The bass plays a crucial role in unifying the trio, as the reverberating echo to the flute's predominating musical line. The drums explore diversified undercurrents to complement, respond and ornament tones that emanate from both the flute and the bass.

The innocence which the flute channels, pervades the album. Mitchell not only blows through her instrument in an even, full staccato array of notes (Drake's "Anaya with the Sunlight"), but also buzzes, forms vibratos and arranges her breath and voice to invent a language that captivates the essence of meaning inherent in the theme laid before her (Bankhead's "A Child's Curiosity"). How she sculpts the sound (Drake's "Anaya with the Moon"), in her moves from one note to another, maximizes timbre, demonstrates the use of her breath, embouchure and her attention to inflection. Her own "Beloved's Reflection" and "Wheatgrass," in which she plays the piccolo, unveils her capacity, through gleeful vagaries, to make pure, unequivocal space.

Although he utilizes formidable arco technique (bass in "A Child's Curiosity," cello in "Song for Ma'at"), Bankhead performs exceptional solo pizzicato introductions to the music twice ("Anaya with the Sunlight," "Anaya with the Moon"). Generally, his solo pizzicato reveals his sense of detail, timing ("Wheatgrass") and extraordinary versatility with the bass' range of intonation. He can play as delicately in the high register as he would play a mandolin and, in the same gesture, find the lowest rhythmic lithe fingering sets imaginable ("Beloved's Reflection"). Bankhead is the only instrumentalist in his own "Affirmation of the One," where he confirms his mastery of the bent pitch.

Drake reigns as supreme évocateur. His drumming springs forth with intention and certain responsiveness. His talent in drawing abstract aural pictures that complement and extend the quality of the instruments with which he is working is inimitable. Drake becomes not only the rhythmic heartbeat for Mitchell and Bankhead, but also the cloak that surrounds them and the floor on which they stand. The tensionless motion applied to click the metal edge of the snare, the cymbal, and find combinations of the components of his kit, exhibits his reliability, strength and contentment.

Midway through the recording comes the most complex and centered of the pieces, "Song of Ma'at," a collective improvisation. Drake's employ of frame drum exemplifies an apotheosis of his indivisible involvement with moment; moreover, it exposes that the Indigo Trio is one of "God's best answers" for unfurling creative music.


Track Listing: Sho Ya Right; A Child's Curiosity; Anaya with the Sunilight; Song for Ma'at; Beloved's Reflection; Wheatgrass; Anaya with the Moon; Affirmation of the One.

Personnel: Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, piccolo; Harrison Bankhead: bass; Hamid Drake: drums, frame drum.

Title: Anaya | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Rogueart Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Live at Nectar’s" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Nectar’s
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Translator's Note" CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Yequm" CD/LP/Track Review Yequm
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Screen Sounds" CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Good Merlin" CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Drama" CD/LP/Track Review Drama
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 4, 2017