205

Michael Musillami Trio + 3: From Seeds

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Musillami Trio + 3: From Seeds Following guitarist's Michael Musillami's The Treatment (Playscape, 2007), in which his trio featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Ed Schuller worked with violinist Mark Feldman, From Seeds weds his trio with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, alto saxophonist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist, Matt Moran.

The definition between Musillami's core trio and the other trifecta is both magnified and stressed in all six of Musillami's compositions. The music is a complete interwoven strand, strengthened with instrumental lines that come together in unison, separate into uniqueness, or increase their momentum and volume and eventually come to rest. Because the variety of sounds and tempos keep the music bustling, the travel routes of the lines are pervasive and not entangled. Each instrument's sound is clearly audible and never vanishes into muddiness. The solos and duos from the players rise often and do nothing but delight the ears.

Moran, Musillami and Fonda constantly intertwine as the horns play on or over the surfaces that the strings and vibes construct. ("Ga Ga Goosebumps," "Graphite"). In most of the record, Moran brilliantly applies the vibes towards expanding the guitar resonance or bridging the gap from tonalities emanating from the bass and guitar to those from the horns ("Bill Barron," "Wisteria Hysteria Blues"). The vibes become a transitioning vehicle as well, when Moran bows one of the bars, creating a tone that is so distinct that there is no missing it ("Ga Ga Goosebumps," "Graphite"). Fonda's weighty and well-timed pizzicato and infrequent bowing anchors the surrounding sound throughout ("Splayed Fingers," "Ga Ga Goosebumps"). When he solos in "Bill Barron," his fingers dance away with character.

Ehrlich distinguishes himself from the crowd, singing in arpeggios (sometimes in a minor key) and deconstructing melodies with aplomb ("Splayed Fingers," "Ga Ga Goosebumps"). Alessi, too, perches himself up front with vibratos ("From Seeds") or beautifully phrased melodies and rapid scalar runs which can move to high peaking pitches that just hang there ("Splayed Fingers," "Graphite," "Wisteria Hysteria Blues"). The drums seem to be joined with the horns in their timbre, sharp or soft snare and cymbal combinations prevailing. The drums open up though in "Wisteria Hysteria Blues" and, along with the bass, plow the pulse through.

The guitar itself is the spine around which the music is built, whether Musillami goes in a solo direction ("Ga Ga Goosebumps," "Bill Barron," "Wisteria Hysteria Blues") or blends within the stream, remaining silent or carefully integrating his playing into the group. Mid-album, Musillami goes into a rock zone in the title tune activating the band with two-fold intention—perhaps not only to reveal a penchant, but also to complement the essential tunefulness of the entire set. Musillami's abilities on his electric guitar are without parallel. And there is no question that he feels every note that every instrument makes.

From Seeds is a continual show of fireworks. Musillami has designed the overlaying and sequencing of musical color bursts into arrays of endlessly popping grand finales.

Track Listing: Splayed Fingers; Ga-Ga-Goosebumps; From Seeds; Wisteria Hysteria Blues; Graphite; Bill Barron.

Personnel: Michael Musillami: guitar; Joe Fonda: bass; George Schuller: drums; Marty Ehrlich: alto saxophone; Ralph Alessi: trumpet: Matt Moran: vibes.

Title: From Seeds | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Karoujite" CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix" CD/LP/Track Review The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Luck Child" CD/LP/Track Review Luck Child
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 16, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.