Cameron Mizell's new album, Memory/Imagination, is an exciting collection of tracks that will spark the imagination and win over the heart. The composer/guitarist is certainly consistent in crafting records that are avant-garde and improvisational while stimulating emotionally. It's a creative balance that isn't easily achievable; many other artists veer too much towards one side. However, Mizell focuses on music as poetry in motion, and no words are needed for him to paint his pictures of the mind.
The title track kicks off this stunning collection of songs, and it truly evokes a sense of wonder and awe. This piece is deeply textural and multi-layered with ambient sounds, a whimsical vibe, and a cinematic feel. Minimalism is a key component of Mizell's aesthetics as a musician, but there is a lot more to it than that. This release is a great example of research and experimentation with sound. "The Wind Will Never Blow Us Out" has a distinctive tone, reminiscent of the greats of jazz electric guitar, yet denotes the artist's unique personality. To finish off the album, "Decisions" is definitively a more introspective track, which is reminiscent of eminent artists such as Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell, to name two.
Today, the music industry is oversaturated with artists who are solely focused on creating music that fits in with modern trends and is immediately accessible and likeable. It is great to come across an artist such as Mizell, who is obviously very connected with his artistic works on a personal level, commercial considerations be damned.
There is a freedom and a sense of exhilaration in Jazz that is not found in any other music. Jazz is about finding freedom and a personal voice within a structure, and that is what
appeals to me most. I had a late start in jazz.
I was first exposed to jazz without any formal training by watching videos of Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk in my 20's.
Later, I met Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Martial Solal, Bernard Maury, Fred Hersh, Barry Harris, among many other musicians over the years.
The first jazz record I
bought was Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, with You and it is still one of the solo piano masterpiece in my view.
My advice to new listeners... Just enjoy it!
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