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Album Review

Patricia Brennan: More Touch

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Patricia Brennan: More Touch
It's uncanny how More Touch, vibraphonist Patricia Brennan's scarily good follow-up to her head-turning debut Maquishti (Valley of Search, 2021) follows one around all day. Its essence is in the air, in the room, in the conversation. It sneaks around the corner and races down the stairs, out into the street, and breaks into any and all of the machinations that drive the day.

Born of its own fevered animation, the music on More Touchis brazen. Atmospheric yet as visceral as a meteor collision. It balances and sizzles. It buzzes. Settles and unsettles. Runs vertically and horizontally. It bellydances while it sambas. Rhythmic collages such as "Robbin" and "The Woman Who Weeps" slide and tumble, coursing through their own logic and fundamentals like full-on lava flows.

Connecting the interstices between free improv and classical chamber with a great deal of Afro-Cuban polyrhythms in between, Brennan, taking turns at vibraphone and marimba (while manipulating both electronically to dreamy, spacey effect) whispers, purrs, roars. .Drummer Marcus Gilmore, percussionist Mauricio Herrera and bassist Kim Cass whip up their own sense of tempo and margin, resulting in such torrents of concentrated hypnosis as "Space For Hour," the swirling, spiraling "Square Bimagic," the diasporic "Convergences," the warped whispers of "More Touch," and the pulsing, free-spirited "Unquiet Respect."

It is a testament to Cass that he can keep this often runaway train on the tracks. As the three percussionists bounce off the sonic palette to all corners of the unknown, Cass runs down the middle, holding it all together. It is no mean feat by any standard. Prolific in their imaginings, Gilmore and Herrera provide a roiling landscape one minute, then pull it away the next, enabling Brennan to countermand and reciprocate, often simultaneously. It is another neat treat on a disc of neat tricks. Maquishti turned a lot of people on to Brennan's unique geometric stance and shadings. More Touch is just as captivating.

Track Listing

Unquiet Respect; More Touch; Space For Hour; El Nahualli (The Shadow Soul); The Woman Who Weeps; Square Bimagic; Convergences; Robbin; Sizigia (Syzygy); And There Was Light.

Personnel

Patricia Brennan: vibraphone; Marcus Gilmore: drums; Kim Cass: bass, acoustic; Mauricio Herrera: percussion.

Album information

Title: More Touch | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Pyroclastic Records

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