11

Karuna Trio: Imaginary Archipelago

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Karuna Trio: Imaginary Archipelago
Percussionists Adam Rudolph and Hamid Drake, and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Ralph Miles Jones play together as the Karuna Trio. These spontaneous compositions were built on a deep foundation of shared experience, dating back to their teen years, for Rudolph and Drake; Rudolph and Jones later played together in the Eternal Wind quintet. The concept here is that the music they were making is from a fantastical place: an imaginary archipelago. Each of the eleven tracks is named for an island in the chain.

The sound is a potent blend of acoustic instruments with electronic processing, at once ancient and modern. In his role as composer/conductor of the Go: Organic Orchestra—as heard to stunning effect on Ragmala: A Garden of Ragas (Meta Records, 2019)—Rudolph shapes the music using the entire ensemble as his instrument. He does much the same thing here by processing and editing the raw materials of the trio's initial performance.

"Okomibo" opens the set with a spacey flute and percussion soundscape, with substantial processing on the flute part. "Alima" features bass clarinet, weaving melodies through a pointillistic landscape at first, then a regular rhythm. "Ibak" has a ritual feel, and finds Jones switching between flute and saxophone, processing turning the saxophone into an echoing chorus. "Pitek" is carried entirely by rolling percussion at first, joined by echoing saxophone, while "Chandirasa" makes extensive use of chimes, bells and gongs. "Suwakaba" must be a jazzy place, as it is inhabited by drum kit and saxophone. Voice is a strong presence in "Vajna," and "Sorokaba" closes with a gentle, contemplative mood.

The combination of hand percussion, horns and electronics strongly recalls the work of trumpeter Jon Hassell. Rudolph has worked with Hassell, notably on City: Works Of Fiction (All Saints, 1990 & 2014), but he brings his own sensibility to this music. In many ways it really does sound like World Music from a different world. And a rich, diverse sound sometimes belies the fact that it is all being created by just three musicians.

Track Listing

Okomibo; Alima; Ibak; Dimahala; Apekweh; Madazuba; Pitek; Chandirasa; Suwakaba; Vajna; Sorokaba.

Personnel

Adam Rudolph: percussion; Ralph Miles Jones: woodwinds; Hamid Drake: percussion.

Album information

Title: Imaginary Archipelago | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Meta Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Earth
Earth
Dave Liebman
Read Urban(e)
Urban(e)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra
Read Hiding Place
Hiding Place
Mark Murphy, Folk Artist
Read The Truce
The Truce
Markus Reuter
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.