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The rather unlikely duo of jazz saxophonist Peter Gordon and studio processing/EFX wiz Matt Shire-Jones proves to be a fruitful relationship via their ongoing collaborations. The UK duo intimates the antithesis of that proverbial man vs. machine concept, here on this 2005 release. With guest artists chipping in on various tracks, the acoustic-electric component yields a multicolored potpourri of textured arrangements and highly rhythmic underpinnings.
The artists instill a lucid sense of the visual, as many of these works could easily service a cinematic venture. With soothing themes and swarming synth backdrops, contrasts abound throughout. However, Shire-Jones' liquefying and pliant streams of sound work wonders with Gordon's emphasis on the jazz element. At times the program leads through drifting themes, often counterbalanced with layered patterns and forward-moving backbeats supplied by drummer Darren Edwards. And the musicians' conjure up a world music slant amid harrowing and digitally treated wordless chants. In spots, the electronic element suggests a mechanical pulse that conjures up notions of experiencing a large-scale manufacturing plant. Imagery abounds everywhere.
On "Dissimilar, the duo generates an electric-organic, jazz-shaded Indo-fusion character via windswept choruses, frothy percussion and a subliminal sense of antiquity. The duo even incorporates some psychedelic-drenched, East Indian effects to round a wonderful audible treat for the ears and mind.
Shire-Jones doesn't incorporate electronics as a means to an end. Contrarily, he picks his spots wisely while complementing his shrewd arranging and melody-making faculties. It's all about the music, and not the implements used to create it. That unto itself speaks volumes these days.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.