Hanging Hearts pack quite a punch for a trio, a bass-less trio at that. Saxophonist Chris Weller takes the lead on "Return Of Saturn" with guttural tenor, after which an anthemic ensemble melody is established. There's a real sense of jazz rock here, but undoubtedly erring on the side of jazz. Cole DeGenova establishes a keyboard riff on the exuberant "Pilsen" before the band joins in accompanied by Dave King from the Bad Plus on tambourine. Notably, King also produced the album. Just when the listener thinks there's a regular 4/4 groove the time signature collapses, replaced by frenetic free improv interplay before the beat returns once more.
The spacey "Big Bang Anunnini" cranks-up the tension, building layers of echoey keyboard and flying saucer-like stereophonics. Weller brings his wailing, throaty tenor to good effect, juxtaposed against this soundscape. By the fourth track "Jungle Juice" it's clear the band resembles an admixture of influences such as Soft Machine maybe with some later, electric Ornette Coleman thrown in for good measure. Weller's tenor seems also to be channelling the ghost of late, great roaring tenorist Gato Barbieri.
"Creation" and "He Had The Purest Of Intentions" take the mood into less visceral territory with the latter track approaching pastoral dimensions. "June Bug" returns to a heavier sound with some keen tempo changes and snappy vamps. The closer, "Legends" is more doleful than its predecessors and underpinned by Devin Drobka's crackling snare drum.
Into A Myth is the follow-up to 2014's eponymously titled debut album Chris Weller's Hanging Hearts and it's a kicker. Weller's magnificent biting tenor married with lustrous themes makes for intelligent and fascinating fusion for the 21st Century.
Track Listing: 1. Return of Saturn, 2. Pilsen, 3. Big Bang Anunnini, 4. Jungle Juice, 5. Creation, 6. He
Had the Purest of Intentions, 7. June Bug, 8. Legends
Personnel: Chris Weller - tenor saxophone, Cole DeGenova - keyboards, Devin Drobka - drums.
Dave King - tambourine on track 2.
Enjoy Three Days on the Beach with Snarky Puppy, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Lettuce, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Lila Downs, Michael McDonald Acoustic Quartet, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Flor de Toloache and more—February 14-16, 2020 at the North Beach Bandshell in Miami, FL.
The winner receives a 3-day pass for two. Excludes travel or lodging.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as one of the “Top 10 Definitive Moments of the Decade in Jazz Music,” GroundUP goes beyond the typical festival experience, breaking down the barriers between audience and artists...
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