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Joe Fonda: New Origin

Mike Jurkovic By

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On New Origin veteran bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Harvey Sorgen—(Ahmad Jamal, Dewy Redman) boldly return to the passion that forged Dreamstruck (Not Two, 2018), their unstoppable trio excursion with Marilyn Crispell.

Sworn architects of reverberant depth and the collective accord separating us from AI, the vets team this time with the equally free thinking European clarinetist Christophe Rocher —Paul Rogers, John Stevens—to unravel the Gordian Knot presented by the music of New Origin. "Read This," one of four Fonda originals that give the term inside-out new meaning, arrives with a stumble-step rumble, Rocher venturously claiming his space within the ever-veering Fonda/Sorgen flight path.

"African Roll Mops" (the second of six trio composition/improvs) is a four minute selfie of how perceptively and nervy these guys turn on a dime. With a flurry of rhythmic clatter and staccato lines and squeals from Rocher, the tune becomes a shamanic, purely primal snake dance engine. Rocher's "Berceuse (Lullabye)" with its sinister elastic curlicues, wouldn't lull anyone gently off to sleep and when, forty seconds before the piece culminates, the clarinetist begins a series of creepy, breathy crinkles that climb the spine, why would you?

Fonda, it can be argued, is the catalytic, free jazz heart of New Origin, and his fierce bowing launches "For Perry" (American clarinetist Perry Robinson to whom the disc is dedicated) while Rocher skronks with tenor sax fever. Ornette Coleman's "Broken Shadows" receives an ominous imagining. The highly structured shuffle "ZCSNY" (that finds Fonda extrapolating from Howling Wolf's "Spoonful") is a delicious push and pull inspiring some of Rocher's most vibrant lines.

Rocher's elephantine blasts, Sorgen's thunder, Fonda's foundational darkness, and the music's animated tangles coalesce to make Fonda's eleven minute standout "Song For My Mother" an often caterwauling charge of group-think. Probing the nocturnes of emotional depth, the tune suddenly (well at the 9:23 mark anyway) turns absolutely hymn-like in its resolution, proving the music of New Origin to be always becoming.

Track Listing: Read This; Surely Attended; African Roll Mops; Berceuse; For Perry; Broken Shadows; Song For My Mother; Gastronomy; ZCNSY; Me; Platte Cove; Cosmonosis.

Personnel: Christophe Rocher: clarinets; Joe Fonda: bass; Harvey Sorgen: drums.

Title: New Origin | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Not Two Records

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