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Album Review

Shifa: Live in Oslo

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Shifa: Live in Oslo
A spectrum of subversive, seemingly sinister ambitions erupt upon entering the very vigorous other-world proposed on Live In Oslo, a true mind-meld of London's free-jazz highest order, led by saxophonist Rachel Musson, pianist Pat Thomas and drummer Mark Sanders known collectively as Shifa.

Recorded at Oslo's Blow Out Festival in August 2019, the trio finds no trouble breaking space to its atomic bits and telling time to take a holiday, setting apace a restless, anxious investigation into the unknown. Thomas quickly establishes the expectant, rumbling, silence that Musson then slowly, intently shatters with strident, piercing deep yowls, the primitive awakening to a new age. Thomas matches her barking, prolonged objections and insurrectionary exhortations with a tidal nuance as Sanders whispers and explodes straight through the clamor; his presence at storm center visceral, no matter how far afield Thomas and Musson take us. An all-too-perfect match for Brooklyn's forward thinking 577 Records, "Taste/Bias" in turns topples, cascades, and penetrates with a rupturing, noisy allure, its shredding angular sentiments putting on notice, on trial, the old harmonics, the old melodic inventions we've clung to for far too long.

Suggested by Thomas, the trio takes its name from the Arabic word for healing and by the end of this triumphant thirty-eight minute excursion into the vast uncontrolled creative, it is our innate, yet often unrealized ability to hear beyond the dog whistles and dogma and the imagination that is healed from the rudimentary concepts and political swill that define these difficult days.

Track Listing

Taste/Bias.

Personnel

Rachel Musson: saxophone, tenor; Pat Thomas: piano; Mark Sanders: drums.

Album information

Title: Live in Oslo | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: 577 Records


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