Beledo's second MoonJune release flows through the listener's ears like the cinematic adaptation of an epic novel, but in sound. Seriously Deep quite deliberately moves from scene to scene (song to song), building up and releasing tension in music that sounds much too powerful and deep to have been primarily created by only three musicians: Uruguayan multi-instrumentalist Beledo on electric guitar and acoustic piano with drummer Kenny Grohowski and master bassist Tony Levin. Within each song, this movement consists of undetectable transitions between composed and improvised music. "Improvisations are an aspect that takes more than fifty percent of my compositions and when it comes to my guitar playing it is the aspect that I feel allows me to express my true self," Beledo explains.
In "Mama D," featuring Botswanese vocalist Kearoma Rantao and written in memory of late South African singer Dorothy Masuka, Beledo plays with such a clear and bright tone that his guitar first suggests a trumpet and then a singing voice before spacewalking out into an Allan Holdsworth-style progressive jazz-rock jam. "Mama D" slips into "Coasting Zone," a tight arrangement that opens with a loose, swinging jazz shuffle feeling. Levin and Grohowski keep the rhythmic heat rising beneath the one Beledo solo on this set that bows toward his MoonJune labelmates, Indonesian guitar pioneers Dewa Budjana and Tohpati.
The title piece serves as this set's focal point even though it's the opening track, as the band collaboratively paints a dreamy fourteen- minute journey through a song composed by bassist Eberhard Weber for his release Silent Feet (ECM, 1977). Levin's doubling on bass thickens and underlines the guitar into a radiantly beautiful sound, and Beledo's double-tracked acoustic piano and electric guitar sounds mesh like the left and right hands of one musical spirit. "Seriously Deep" surely sounds beautiful, but it's something more than beautiful, too. It's profound, thoughtful, and timeless, and it may sound strange but this music is good for getting (back) in touch with your soul.
The trio bounces "Into The Spirals" with a jazz-funk bass and drumbeat kept moving by Grohowski's pinwheeling snare drumrolls. Beledo's guitar lines swirl and ascend (spiral) like a tornado's updraft, creating a wide-open, uncluttered jam feeling that ends this set of more abstract music with a grin.
Seriously Deep; Mama D; Coasting Zone; Maggie's Sunrise; Knocking Waves; A Temple In The Valley; Into The Spirals.
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