Composer and woodwind/keyboard/percussion multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum advocates "music without borders and says he writes from "a drummer's perspective. Familiar soundposts are absent and It Is Written
, the latest recording of his Hieroglyphics band, requiring a shift in the listener's preconceptions of big band possibilities.
For instance, "Prelude is a brief, dirge-like opening in which Jai Uttal's harmonium plays a dominant role. Have I wandered into a rather sad occasion?, one may wonder. "Labile (Unfolding) follows, the mood still somewhat somber, albeit beginning to shimmer with lots of brass and a distinct piano sound punctuated by drum commas.
Guitars (Viva de Concini, David Phelps) gently lead into passage in which a brass quartet (Apfelbaum, Josh Roseman, Jessica Jones, Tony Jones) heats up and adds colors in "Rainbow Sign. Perhaps these sounds suggest this is actually a Brazilian party? Wordless vocalizing (Abdul Diabate) is followed by warm solo toots which lead the full band into building a mounting sense of excitement which begs for dancing.
As the set continues, rather than providing melodies in the traditional mode, the multicultural music evolves into a forceful, kinetic entitya block of sound in movement. Mixing elements of blues, reggae, and classical, the pieces fit together harmoniously. The results feel like songs which invite greater familiarity.
Track Listing: Prelude; Labile (Unfolding); Rainbow Sign; Apparition/Projectiles; Song of the Signs;
Petroglyph Extension; Shotgun Bouquet; It Is Written; Titiwa.
Personnel: Peter Apfelbaum: woodwinds, keyboards, percussion; Peck Allmond: trumpet, woodwinds;
Josh Roseman: trombone; Jessica Jones: alto and tenor saxophone; Tony Jones: tenor
saxophone; Norbert Stachel: woodwinds; Craig Handy: alto sax; Steven Bernstein: slide
trumpet; Jeff Cressman: trombone; Natalie Cressman: trombone; Charles Burnham: violin;
Juliana Cressman: violin; David Phelps: guitar; Viva De Concini: guitar; Will Bernard: guitar;
Trey Anastasio: guitar; Jai Uttal: guitar, harmonium, vocal; Patrice Blanchard: bass; John
Shifflett: bass; Abdoulaye Diabate: vocal; Dafnis Prieto: drums, percussion; Cyro Baptista:
percussion; Josh Jones: bata drums, percussion; David Frazier: bata drums; Aaron
Johnston: drums; Deszon X. Claiborne: drums.
Title: It Is Written
| Year Released: 2005
| Record Label: ACT Music