There's a buzz to Dancing Shadows that is akin to the first time one stumbled upon a late 1950s to late 1960s Blue Note, Riverside, Verve, Impulse! or Prestige recording and time just stopped and the music took you places you were eager to go whether you knew where you were going or not. You stared at the cover, the wall, into the new, opening world. It may well have been your first mind-altering experience without, (or in conjunction with) any of the pharmaceuticals of the time.
A great head with jaunty moves Dancing Shadows certainly is, and for that we owe bassist Tyler Mitchell a good deal of gratitude. Serving as the session's swing-spring anchor, Tyler gives the floor over to elder statesman and Sun Ra alum saxophonist Marshall Allen who, at the very creative age of 97, takes us loosely through a twelve-song set consisting of Tyler and Marshall originals, a couple of prime Sun Ra takes and "Skippy," an inverted bop bounce courtesy of Thelonious Monk that may leave you dancing on clouds.
Sounding like they all convened in a New York studio via Chicago and Hackensack, the remaining sextetChris Hemingway tenor sax, Nicoletta Manzini alto sax. drummer Wayne Smith, and percussionist Elson Nascimentofollow Tyler and Mitchell's lead with a fluid affinity that locks the listener in and moves him or her on. Just try to resist the groove to Sun Ra's 1966 gem "Interstellar Low Ways," a groove that has lost none of its power to sway. The title track is a hard bop free-fall with the horns ripping and declaring, tripping and daring the listener and the rhythm section to keep up. The trippy lure of "Angels and Demons," the brief, casual fire of "Care Free," the burst and blare of "Space Travelers," all add up to that rare rush that seems to get harder and harder to find. Listen to this one at the start of the day what watch how easy the day gets.
Interstellar Lowways; Spaced Out; Angels & Demons At Play; Skippy; Nico; Dancing Shadows; Carefree; Marshall The Deputy; Nico Revisited; Space Travelers; Enlightenment; A Call For All Demons.