The idea for anchoring an ancient theme to music and producing a conceptual record can be challenging as well as rewarding. The experimental jazz trio Holograma, blended Sumerian mythology with a revision of primal rhythms throughout Origen to create a courageous statement of authentic innovation. Though there are superb performances by guest artists, the trio of guitarist Raul Romero, bassist Bermudo, and drummer Efrain Martinez are in charge here and carry the brunt of the load.
Opening with shamanic renderings from the Epic of Gilgamesh in "The Flood," complete with rain and thunder, there is a rapid advancement into "Megalith," where power chords fuse with cosmic bass lines, conjuring up images of primeval rituals.This leads to a restrained "Moonbow," where the transcendental clarinet provided by Luis Flores continues the telepathic journey. The bass riff roars into the progressive rock explosion of the title track, colored with spatial sax highlights, it remains distinguished as the highlight number. These three make up the first suite trinity, as the album concept is made up of three sections moving in three different directions but heading towards the same destination.
Showcasing his composing sophistication, Romero conveys Debussy for "Prelude" and "Introspection" with their classical undertones, to set up a meditative intermission of the second suite. This subdued sentiment is carried over to "Sentinel (For Nixzy)" featuring versatile bassist Aldemar Valentin, and saxophonist Norberto Tiko" Ortiz. This song is a tribute to a child lost by tragedy, in hopes that the music will carry her spirit into a safer realm.
As the musicians are all Puerto Ricans, it is only proper to acknowledge their cultural roots by incorporating the complex bomba rhythm of holandés into "Hollander." With this beat as an underlying foundation, the band kicks it into high gear and display their virtuosity and ability to interplay within and without restrictions and limitations, yet maintaining that mysterious clave as a guiding energy.
"Nanna," as an abstract interpretation of the Sumerian god of the moon, is a fitting closure to this mystical expedition. Hoping the listener will aurally travel past the moon and the infinite beyond, Holograma remained incessant and steadfast in their conceptual approach of discovery and exploration all the while displaying outstanding collective determinations in benefit of Origen and the result is brilliant.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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