Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Garza / Fawcett / Wojtowicz: Moab

4

Garza / Fawcett / Wojtowicz: Moab

By

Sign in to view read count
Garza / Fawcett / Wojtowicz: Moab
The album title is Moab. It comes out of Chicago, created by the trio of guitarist John Garza, bassist Peter Wojtowicz and drummer Jacob Fawcett. For those with a sketchy knowledge of ancient history, the Kingdom of Moab, established in 1300 BCE and lasting until 400 BCE, was located in what is now southern Jordan, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The album Moab may have no connection to this. Information on the album and guitarist Garza is sparse even on this day of the internet. So be it.

But then there is nothing like email to clear up ruminations concerning connections between ancient empires and 21st-century jazz. In response to a query concerning the music's relationship to the Kingdom of Moab, John Garza replies: "It does (have a connection), in an indirect way. The initial theme of Moab was a reflection on Moab in Utah—a place that is both beautiful and majestic, but which also has some darker underpinnings, i.e. nuclear testing back in the middle 20th century, the displacement of some native peoples. I became sensitive to this largely as a result of Jacob Fawcett, our drummer who is Native American. And, as we continued to think about it, there is a similar 'displacement' history in the Middle Eastern Kingdom of Moab."

With that cleared up, "Bloom Late" opens the show with Garza's guitar sounding metallically resonant, the way that bluesman John Lee Hooker's sounds. Garza's trio is distinctively interactive, rolling with an "equality of input" state of mind. The contemplative composition sets the stage for the cohesive listening experience that follows.

"Bogart" features ringing chords over a rhythmic shuffle. The effect is one of a Zen-like inevitability of the tune's unfolding, with Garza moving into a Frank Zappa-esque single-note noodling. At the same time "Wrong Room" settles into a groove-less suspension of time, and the title tune sounds like a peaceful-yet-relentless march. Maybe the Kingdom of Moab is moving toward a territorial acquisition. Or maybe not. Who knows?

"Throwness" wanders. The trio seems to be immersed in a mind meld. How long have they played together? The internet is not talking.

"Sonder (a chance at)" closes out the well-crafted show. It feels like a rebuttal to the ominous "Rumble," Link Wray's 1958 hit tune. It wraps things up with a statement of acceptance and peace rather than the imminent street fight vibe that Wray laid down all those years ago.

Track Listing

Bloom Late; Bogart; Wrong Room; Moab; Thrownness; Sonder (a chance at).

Personnel

Album information

Title: Moab | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self-Produced


Next >
Gifts

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Strictly Smokin' & Friends
Strictly Smokin' Big Band
Remembrance
Chick Corea and Bela Fleck
Axes
Andrea Grossi Blend 3 + Jim Black
Art Of Art
Art Pepper

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.