5

Jacob Duncan: Invisible House

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Jacob Duncan: Invisible House Since the politically and culturally turbulent 60s, the word liberation has been incorporated into titles of collectives—remember the radical "Symbionese Liberation Army" and the certainly less violent, but still highly influential "Liberation Orchestra" of bassist Charlie Haden? Even song and album titles from groups as diverse as The Pet Shop Boys and Earth, Wind and Fire have glommed the word for appropriate thematic effect. Perhaps people everywhere just wanna be free, as The Rascals sang back when.

Louisville-based Saxophonist Jacob Duncan's "Liberation Prophecy" ensemble offers up some very interesting out-of-box and envelope-pushing fare in Invisible House. This is a highly eclectic landscape in which Duncan and his cohorts—both vocal and instrumental—satisfy by offering wildly diverse sonic and rhythmic textures. There's a flavoring of just about every tonal seasoning here with Duncan's obvious compositional influences ranging from late genius Frank Zappa (and Zappa's own Stravinsky-flavored p-p-p-pulses) ("You," "Invisible House") to Mr. Intergalactic, Sun Ra and sorceress Carla Bley. There's even a hint of chorale-introduced Nouveau Country ("Let's Not Pretend").

The ten selections tend to be weighted vocal with Carla Johnson taking hold of the refined lyrics and generating a canyon-wide range of emotion from brooding to joy ("Wish I May"). Johnson's vocal instrument—while not similarly enormous in range—bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Minnie Riperton. She's silvery smooth, yet sly and sexy as she twists lyrics with emotional power ("Tip Toe"). The ensemble—obviously buying into both the simplicities and complexities emanating from Duncan's pen—plays with energy and humor. There's limited extended soloing, although trumpeter Kris Eans blows fire on "Tip Toe."

Duncan, a generous leader to his band, demonstrates his fine saxophone chops and gorgeous sound in select spots ("The Lazy Mist"). As composer/arranger and lyricist, he develops and colors his unique ensemble arrangements well, superbly enhancing (and not crushing) the vocal lyric. There's underlying humor and quirkiness here, too—sardonic "Killer Clowns"-like laugh-out-loud hoots on "Fortress" for example, and a build-to-a-storming-climax nature portrait on "Nova Vite."

While not attempting to be all things musically liberating, Invisible Houseis certainly an intriguing, highly expressive free-wheeling—almost provocative—artistic effort. That much is very easy for ears to "see."

Track Listing: You; Fortress; Wish I May; Let’s Not Pretend; Invisible House; The Lazy Mist; Tip toe; Death from Above; Consolations; Nova Vite

Personnel: Jacob Duncan: alto saxophone, flute, Rhodes, vocals; Carly Johnson: vocals; Michael Hyman: drums; Craig Wagner: guitars; Chris Fitzgerald: double bass; Steve Good: tenor saxophone,bass clarinet, clarinet; Chris Fortner: trombone; Kris Eans: trumpet;

Title: Invisible House | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read L.O.T.U.S. CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Art in the Age of Automation CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Matt Marshall
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Anthology - Bigger Than Life" CD/LP/Track Review Anthology - Bigger Than Life
by Doug Collette
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Bandit 65" CD/LP/Track Review Bandit 65
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 13, 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.