All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

3

Corey Mwamba / Dave Kane / Joshua Blackmore: Don't Overthink It

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
There's a simple message on the inner sleeve of Don't Overthink It, the first full-length studio recording from vibraphonist Corey Mwamba . bassist Dave Kane and drummer Joshua Blackmore. There's a simple manifesto in its title and some complex improvised music on the album, but enjoying it is a simple matter. The three UK-based musicians are responsible for the music: maybe they're responsible for the title and the message too, or maybe they aren't. No point spending too much time trying to work out that particular conundrum; it's best not to over-think it.

As a title, Don't Overthink It could almost be a manifesto for improvised music: give it too much thought and improvisation runs the risk of becoming composition (not that composition is a bad thing, but it's not the thing that the trio is aiming for). This music certainly doesn't sound like it's been over-thought. It has, for the most part, a gentle and relaxed vibe, an air of tranquility and calm. Mwamba's vibraphone playing must take much of the credit for this, he has a light touch and a warm tone, but the intuitive understanding shared by all three musicians is paramount in creating this very attractive musical world.

"Ynglinga" opens with Kane's tense arco bass, which sets up a sense of mystery that's intensified by Blackmore's jagged percussion. Mwamba's vibes have a more playful feel, tempering the mystery with a childlike delight in exploration and the resulting ensemble piece is rather beautiful. "Understory" starts off almost imperceptibly, builds slowly and barely rises above a whisper. "Run Down" is a livelier affair, all three players showing uncharacteristic urgency as they sweep and dive in and out of each other's increasingly frenetic phrases.

"Myriad (growth)" calms things down a little. Kane hits the bass strings with his bow to craft a percussive rhythm, Mwamba's at his most meditative and Blackmore adds short, scattered flurries. On "Big Man Chat" the emphasis shifts back to a more up-tempo and urgent rhythm, while "Bifrost"—the title reflects the chilly, detached, feel of the tune—draws things to a somewhat unsettling close.

The message on the inner sleeve is worth quoting: "None of the tracks on this album has a name, really. If you like you can give them names of your own choosing—just cross out the names we put in. It doesn't matter. We just hope you enjoy the music." So if "Run Down" sounds more like "Fly Away" or "Big Man Chat" sounds like it should be called "Pindoodle Breakfree" then get out the ballpoint and start scribbling.

There's another simple message on the cover of Don't Overthink It—"Listen Carefully." Admirable advice. It's the least that this engaging and evocative music deserves and it will reward such careful listening many times over.

Track Listing: Ynglinga; Understory; Run Down; Myriad (growth); Big Man Chat; Bifrost.

Personnel: Corey Mwamba: vibes; Dave Kane; double bass; Joshua Blackmore: drums.

Title: Don't Overthink It | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Ynglinga

Ynglinga

Corey Mwamba
Don't Overthink It

Start

Start

Corey Mwamba
In The Vortex

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Don't Overthink It

Don't Overthink It

Self Produced
2013

buy
 

Cuts

Origin Records
2012

buy
In The Vortex

In The Vortex

Self-Produced
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! CD/LP/Track Review
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Autres Paysages CD/LP/Track Review
Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Astoria Roots Live" CD/LP/Track Review Astoria Roots Live
by James Nadal
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Forever Young" CD/LP/Track Review Forever Young
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Killing Bugs" CD/LP/Track Review Killing Bugs
by Kevin Press
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Live In Belgium" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Belgium
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 4, 2018
Read "Agrima" CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017