Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Jason Ajemian: Folklords

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Folklords is one of the most adventurous albums to be issued by Delmark Records since Levels and Degrees of Light, the auspicious recording debut of pianist and composer Muhal Richard Abrams in 1967. Bassist Jason Ajemian's second effort for the venerable label, following 2008's The Art of Dying, conceptually surpasses his prior work by leaps and bounds. It shares significant similarities with Abrams' premiere, including the use of spoken word and expansive dynamics that veer from impressionistic balladry to rhapsodic free jazz.

The first in a series of planned homages to acknowledged masters, the arrival of Folklords coincides with Sun Ra's 100th anniversary. Featuring imaginative tributes to Ra, Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk, the session incorporates subtle elements from some of their most beloved tunes into an episodic series of abstract excursions. Joined by Kid Bliss aka That Young Astronaut on amplified alto saxophone, electric guitarist Owen Stewart-Robertson and drummer Jason Nazary, Ajemian and company imbue the proceedings with a quixotic sensibility, courtesy of their inspired versatility.

In addition to his protean bass work, Ajemian occasionally recites stream of consciousness poetry with a naked emotionalism that belies its stylized affect. Politicized but abstract, the leader's melodramatic verses call out everyone from Michael Bolton to Lady Gaga, but when Stewart-Robertson simultaneously narrates pre-written text with scholarly deportment, their clever wordplay blossoms into a spellbinding collage, fortified by coruscating layers of electronic feedback and the roiling interplay of deconstructed tribal rhythms.

Consisting of five lengthy selections, the set unfolds seamlessly, like a suite whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Cubist alto fragments, kaleidoscopic fretwork, pliant basslines and nervy drumming coalesce into a phantasmagoric opus that gracefully shifts between bluesy serenity and blissed-out catharsis. With its broad sonic reach, Folklords juxtaposes the fervency of punk and no wave with the cosmic spirituality of the New Thing, yielding a riotous fever dream of things to come from those now gone.

Track Listing: Ask Mr. Blount Now suite (Ask Me Now/Ask Mr. Blount Now/Satellites Are Spinning); Orange Is The Color Of The Sun, Then Blue Sky suite (Prelude To The Sun/Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk/Fables Of Faubus/Portrait); Material Girls; Punk The Blues; Freedom Is A Trail Of Tears.

Personnel: Jason Ajemian: bass, voice, electronics; Kid Bliss aka That Young Astronaut: alto saxophone, vibrolux; Owen Stewart-Robertson: guitar, electronics, voice; Jason Nazary: drums; Frank Corpus: congas (3).

Title: Folklords | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

General Articles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
A Way a Land of Life

A Way a Land of Life

NoBusiness Records
2014

buy
Folklords

Folklords

Delmark Records
2014

buy
 

Protest Heaven

Sound Aspects Records
2010

buy
The Art of Dying

The Art of Dying

Delmark Records
2008

buy
 

Who Cares How Long...

Sound Aspects Records
2004

buy
 

A Way A Land Of Life

Sound Aspects Records
0

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read New American Songbooks, Volume 2 Album Reviews
New American Songbooks, Volume 2
By Karl Ackermann
February 19, 2019
Read Live At JazzCase Album Reviews
Live At JazzCase
By Troy Dostert
February 19, 2019
Read Eastern Sonata Album Reviews
Eastern Sonata
By James Fleming
February 19, 2019
Read Cannonball Album Reviews
Cannonball
By Rob Rosenblum
February 19, 2019
Read Child Of Illusion Album Reviews
Child Of Illusion
By Don Phipps
February 19, 2019
Read Infection In The Sentence Album Reviews
Infection In The Sentence
By Chris May
February 18, 2019
Read Real Isn't Real Album Reviews
Real Isn't Real
By Phil Barnes
February 18, 2019