347

Joe Morris: Colorfield

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Morris: Colorfield Much dirt has been spread about concrete art because it lacks heart and is almost always cold by its very nature. In music as in painting, the anomaly of art without a living soul can echo with emptiness. However there is Confucius, who praised the exactitude of concrete nomenclature, eschewing the figurative. In the case of music that may be overtones or moods, even guitarist Joe Morris' Colorfield does not stray from the path of concrete music diktats, where there's the proverbial doffing of the hat to Cecil Taylor and the era of Unit Structures
And so, while Morris—at least on this project—stays close to the painting movement and may deliberately steer clear from the imagism (however concrete) found in modern music, the constant rubbing of his melodies against the tone clusters of Steve Lantner piano say more about the lack of soul than a concrete image. However, Colorfield is more about pursuing the image of wetness and the resultant elasticity of the melodies on this disc appears to work as the music is in constant motion.

There is an almost primal intensity throughout and this is especially evident in Latner's pianism on "Bell Orange Curves," a title that remains in stark contrast with the assault of the resultant music on the auditory senses. To be receptive of the purported relative brightness suggested by the title, the eyes must be shut and the curvilinear motion of the piece be allowed to invade the mind. It is easier to associate with "Transparent," which is naked tonal music that allows any perception to become real. Morris is more spare in the notes that he plays and refrains from imitating the tone clusters that he charges with when he and Lanter get going on "Bell Orange Curves."

"Silver Sun" and Purple Distant" develop from a stark perspective and the twist is also in the manner of relaying the perception to the ears. In the former, the music is almost mechanical like a windup toy. The latter piece is more centered on the concept of pure experimental tonal clusters, with Lantner taking much of the lead. Both melodies are more conventional, albeit in the same vein as the concrete-Colorfield theme.

It would be remiss not to mention Luther Gray, who is easy to skim over, because in the grand scheme of things the drummer really replaced the bass, so that guitar and piano could be free to undertake melodic journeys. The percussionist does something more memorable than the guitarist or the pianist: he creates rare melody out of the shrewdly tuned battery of instruments, to enliven the invaluable project.


Track Listing: Transparent; Silver Sun; Purple Distant; Bell Orange Curves.

Personnel: Joe Morris: guitar; Steve Lantner: piano; Luther Gray; drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ESP Disk | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Nels Cline Nels Cline
guitar, electric
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Joe McPhee Joe McPhee
reeds
Dave Weckl Dave Weckl
drums
Sonny Sharrock Sonny Sharrock
guitar, electric
David S. Ware David S. Ware
sax, tenor
Julius Hemphill Julius Hemphill
sax, alto

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Simians Of Swing" CD/LP/Track Review Simians Of Swing
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by James Nadal
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Gorgeous Chaos" CD/LP/Track Review Gorgeous Chaos
by James Nadal
Published: May 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!