Cellist George Crotty excels at blending various elements into a unique musical brew. On Chronotope, a cross-cultural mix of South American, Arabic, Indian, and contemporary jazz idioms amount to a stream of genre-blurring invention.
On the opening tune, "Island Incidental," the sounds of water mix with acoustic guitar-like accompaniment, with results that are atmospheric as well as melodic. Shimmering cymbals crisscross a moody cello line. "Chronotope," the title track, takes a Middle Eastern rhythm and melody into psychedelic improvisation against a steady bass line and polyrhythmic percussion. "Prayer Dance" incorporates trance-like rhythms reminiscent of classical Indian ragas. The track was composed as part of a remote commission from New York-based collective, Brooklyn Raga Massive.
"Metamorphosis" is a lovely track, with a reflective cello melody over a kinetic pattern of bass and drums. Crotty uses the warmer colors of the instrument as Jonathan Chapman takes his bass through a nicely understated solo. "Baião" is a standout track with a driving rhythm and seductive cello, with each instrument emerging to take over the reins.
Percussion anchors all the various styles, with Matias Rechart on drums, Max Senitt on percussion ("Chronotope," "Prayer Dance," "Metamorphosis," "Snowglobe"), and Gilbert Mansour ('Halftime Hijaz') contributing. Sennitt's work on "Snowglobe," a strongly rhythmic and meditative track, is particularly intriguing.
"Ropetrick" is best described as a musical evocation of its name, and "Banish the Birds" ends the release with a mesmerizing intensity.
Many musicians combine elements of global sounds into their work; in Chronotope, the sound emerges as a new and fresh take on fusion.
It's a global mash-up of elements in the inventive spirit of jazz.
Island Incidental; Chronotope; Prayer Dance; Metamorphosis; Baiao; Halftime; Snowglobe;
Ropetrick; Banish the Birds.
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