All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

12

Chris Mapp: Gonimoblast Live

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist/composer Chris Mapp leads the British electronic and jazz-inspired improvising collective Gonimoblast. This double-disc release taken from 2015 live recordings in Birmingham feature two guest musicians from the Norwegian improvisation scene that influenced their approach: Maja S.K. Ratkje (voice & electronics) on Disc One; Arve Henriksen (trumpet, electronics, & voice) on Disc Two. In addition to being one of the most recognizable names in Norwegian improvisation, Henriksen's group Supersilent was a major inspiration for the formation of this band.

The goal was simply to get musicians together to explore improvisation with electronics. The core group is Mapp (bass and electronics), Leafcutter John (electronics), Dan Nicholls (keyboards and synthesizers), and drummer/percussionist Mark Sanders (who spends most of his time contributing textures rather than keeping time)—the only player not contributing electronics to the sound. They take a generally minimalist, ambient approach.

But Disc One has plenty of interesting details: the almost Spaghetti Western-sounding whistling on Part I; the skittering electronics in Part III; and the insistent rhythmic looping in Part IV, for example. Ratkje's vocals first become audible in Part II, but they are electronically processed in such a way that they blend into the rest of the texture. Concluding Part VI features some lyrical singing (accompanying herself via looping), but it builds to a thunderous climax.

Henriksen's trumpet makes its entrance during Part I on Disc Two, a lyrical contrast to the electronics underneath it which morphs into a looped electronic presence. Part II features his vocals, as does Part IV (employing that angelic falsetto sound, looped with itself). Part V goes heavily into Jon Hassell world music territory, with looped trumpets that could be heard as an homage—a lovely, unexpected musical event. The Hassell sound continues into Part VI in the form of electronically harmonized trumpet. Henriksen also takes his most lyrical trumpet solo in the set, accompanied only by sparse electronics. There's another section with electronically treated trumpet, then the set concludes with beautiful falsetto vocalise.

Gonimoblast has been performing together for several years, and have developed a rich ensemble sound in which it is often difficult to hear where one musician ends and another begins. The group is elevated by these Norwegian guests: the album is especially recommended to Arve Henriksen fans. The double CD albums feature original artwork by artist Tom Tebby, with each individual album screen-printed, hand painted by the artist and assembled by hand. It's a striking package, an art object in its own right.

Track Listing: Disc I: Parts I - VI; Disc II: Parts I - VI.

Personnel: Leafcutter John: electronics, light interface, music box, vocals; Chris Mapp: bass, electronics; Dan Nicholls: keys, synths; Mark Sanders: drums, cymbals, percussion. With Maja S.K. Ratkje: voice, electronics, oscillator and things (Disc 1); Arve Henriksen: trumpet, pocket trumpet, vocals, electronics (Disc 2)

Title: Gonimoblast Live | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Stoney Lane Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Afloat" CD/LP/Track Review Afloat
by Gareth Thompson
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "Two" CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Saturday Night Dogs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Night Dogs
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 17, 2017