135

Four80East: Nocturnal

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Rather addictive, this. Nocturnal hits so many pleasure points that the listener feels as if mind and body have been opened up. If that sounds psychedelic, so be it: The range of ideas brought to the creative table here starts with Funk and Smooth Jazz, and extends to the trippier complexities of Dub, Minimalist Trance, and Progressive Rock. Like the best Funk, it's luminously to-the-point, nailing all kinds of rhythmic nuances with precise economy. Like Smooth, it has an attractive surface sheen, and makes inspired use of keyboard instruments.

As in the other musics mentioned, strong moods and colors are evoked. Sounds are allowed to resonate, leaving vapor trails that open up all kinds of new spaces; rhythms are allowed to flex, and breathe. "Wake and Bake" creates an almost palpable atmosphere through muted trumpet, echoing flute, and soulful electric piano, while "Wait It Out" uses low-toned sounds with the sensitivity of a Sun Ra, its melody recalling the classic Dan and Dale instrumental, "Sleepwalk" — apropos, given its dreamlike groove. "Viaduct" is so smooth, you may feel as if you're riding a chocolate cupcake; a minute and a half in, and the frosting turns into a magic carpet, Jon Stewart's gutty, smoky tenor work your guide for the ride.

For all its occasional abstraction, it's also endlessly funky, working the body as much as it does the brain. Sonically, Nocturnal is a real treat, with creative use of the soundstage, and fine attention to such details as dynamics and tone. Whether your idea of Direction in Groove is Digable Planets, Weather Report, or Fred Wesley and His Horny Horns, Nocturnal will take you to a whole 'nother level.

Track Listing: Shakedown/Viaduct/Bumper To Bumper/Drive Time/Sweet Tooth/Wake And Bake/On The Strip/Wait It Out/First Time/Hazy Lazy.

Title: Nocturnal | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Higher Octave Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles
En Route

En Route

Native Language
2007

buy
 

Nocturnal

Higher Octave Music
2001

buy
 

Nocturnal

Higher Octave Music
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read Phalanx Ambassadors Album Reviews
Phalanx Ambassadors
By Troy Dostert
June 26, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By John Ephland
June 26, 2019
Read Nothing Here Belongs Album Reviews
Nothing Here Belongs
By Jerome Wilson
June 26, 2019
Read Gods Of Apollo Album Reviews
Gods Of Apollo
By Roger Farbey
June 26, 2019
Read Migrations Album Reviews
Migrations
By Dan McClenaghan
June 25, 2019
Read Samba Azul Album Reviews
Samba Azul
By Mackenzie Horne
June 25, 2019
Read Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs Album Reviews
Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 25, 2019