All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Extended Analysis

56

Josh Maxey: Josh Maxey: The Language of Sound and Spirit

Dave Sumner By

Sign in to view read count
Josh Maxey

The Language of Sound and Spirit

Self Produced

2012

Sometimes it's all about setting the tone.

If done right, if the musician finds a way to indelibly stamp the album's vision in those brief opening moments, no matter what comes after, those notes are imprinted on the listener's ears. And if the music varies from opening note to last, the juxtaposition of the memory of the introductory sound and that which follows, potentially creates a complex sonic palate that makes for the most fascinating music.

Guitarist Josh Maxey does just that. If trumpeter Miles Davis' title track to In a Silent Way (Columbia, 1969) conjures up images of a lighthouse looking out over a serene harbor on a cloudy day, then Josh Maxey's opening track to The Language of Sound and Spirit is the boat drifting in slowly on languid ocean waves and aimed for the pier. And though the album gets rockier and fiercer as it proceeds, it never shakes that initial sensation of blissful peace.

The opener is simply titled "Part I." Maxey's guitar bends notes, twists them like misshapen glass until they sparkle and glow and warp light all over the place. Jeremy Noller delicately crashes cymbals across the surface, his bass drum a thumping undercurrent. Chase Baird calls out plaintively on sax, the caw of seagulls over the open water, while Brian Charette's organ eerily encircles the entire crew. It's life on open water.

There's a brief interlude of sax on the loose and drums gone wild.

And that's when the album starts to swing.

Tracks "Part II" and "Part III" keep an oft repeated phrase on sax in their pocket as the band grooves along. Maxey and band keep a light step through it all, and their path is untroubled. It's not so much that this music sounds well-rehearsed as it does that the musicians' vision of what the music should be is so clear that they can't help but hit the right notes. This, ultimately, provides a seamless presentation of the compositions with all the glorious joy of group improvisation.

"Part IV" is a stunning track. Rustic, with an easy sway and churn. It's a blues, but as viewed in the reflection of disturbed water. Maxey's electric guitar takes an inquisitive approach to notes, but when it finds one it likes, he sets it on fire. Michael Cioffero sidekicks on acoustic guitar, adding a rhythmic ingredient that imbues the song with a Big Sky expansiveness that's as startling as it is exemplary. Baird moves in with sax, and solos over the top, and Charette also, in turn, launches into a solo of his own, but it's when he and Baird shadowbox that they truly shine here. Throughout it all, Noller's drums fill in every crevice, his cymbals like glue between the notes, and maintains the tune's breezy swing.

The album ends with "Rehearsal," a return to the sound of those opening moments. A little more dissonant this time around, a bit choppier, but no less resonant. That it fades out, slowly, distantly, is not only apropo, but thematically satisfying.

Josh Maxey is on a quest to compose and record six albums in one year's time. This album counts as number three in that effort. It's a remarkable statement that he can bring about creativity this inspired on the fly, and in the slim timeframe he's afforded himself.

Tracks: Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Rehearsal.

Personnel: Josh Maxey: guitar; Brian Charette: organ; Chase Baird: saxophones; Jeremy Noller: drums; Michael Cioffero: acoustic guitar (2, 4), singing bowls; David Nicholson: acoustic guitar (1, 5), singing bowls; Jessica Martinez Maxey: flute (4, 5); David Parnell: vocals (4).

Track Listing: Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Rehearsal.

Personnel: Josh Maxey: guitar; Brian Charette: organ; Chase Baird: saxophones; Jeremy Noller: drums; Michael Cioffero: acoustic guitar (tracks 2,4) & singing bowls; David Nicholson: acoustic guitar (tracks 1,5) & singing bowls; Jessica Martinez Maxey: NA flute (tracks 4,5); David Parnell: vocals (track 4).

Title: Josh Maxey: The Language of Sound and Spirit | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Cycles of Sound

Cycles of Sound

Josh Maxey
Celebration of Soul

Completing the Cycle

Completing the Cycle

Josh Maxey
Completing The Cycle

Hold Up the Sky

Hold Up the Sky

Josh Maxey
Rhythm of the Sound Current

Hiding In Plain Sight

Hiding In Plain Sight

Josh Maxey
Rhythm of the Sound Current

The Key

The Key

Josh Maxey
Live at the Lighthouse -1979

Dear Ones

Dear Ones

Josh Maxey
Cycles of Sound

Mountain View

Mountain View

Josh Maxey
Light Cycles

Riviera Paradise

Riviera Paradise

Josh Maxey
Argument for the Blues

Part III

Part III

Josh Maxey
The Language of Sound and Spirit

Intent

Intent

Josh Maxey
Approach

Incarnate

Incarnate

Josh Maxey
Incarnate

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Celebration of Soul

Celebration of Soul

Miles High Records
2016

buy
Celebration of Soul

Celebration of Soul

Miles High Records
2015

buy
Completing The Cycle

Completing The Cycle

Self Produced
2014

buy
Josh Maxey: The Language of Sound and Spirit

Josh Maxey: The...

Self Produced
2012

buy
Cycles of Sound

Cycles of Sound

Self Produced
0

buy
Light Cycles

Light Cycles

Self Produced
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis
Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis
Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis
Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack Extended Analysis
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead...
by Doug Collette
Published: July 14, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis
Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Motel Shot: Expanded Edition" Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981" Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love" Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition" Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "The Original Delaney & Bonnie (Accept No Substitute) and To Bonnie From Delaney" Multiple Reviews The Original Delaney & Bonnie (Accept No Substitute)...
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen" Live Reviews Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen
by Patrick Burnette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "Keystone Korner 45th Anniversary Celebration" Live Reviews Keystone Korner 45th Anniversary Celebration
by Walter Atkins
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "WOMAD 2017" Live Reviews WOMAD 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Jazz in Its Present Tents" From the Inside Out Jazz in Its Present Tents
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 1, 2017