147

Raoul Bj: Shadowglow

By

Sign in to view read count
Raoul Bj: Shadowglow There are moments on Shadowglow where Raoul Björkenheim and Lukas Ligeti achieve such an intuitive balance that it's hard to tell who's playing what.

Björkenheim is a percussive guitarist, Ligeti a melodic drummer who plays the kit (and a variety of other percussion instruments) with remarkable fluidity. Björkenheim is capable of making his guitar sound like a thumb piano, a gamelan, or a sandstorm. The two players are clearly listening, and the music breathes and swells accordingly. Noisy elements find their way in, but things never devolve into chaos. The way they shift gears and styles is uncanny, giving hints of telepathy across the disc.

"Olivezone," "Vicousphere" and "Niagra Mowhawk" are standout tracks where the two musicians merge seamlessly. Worldly and otherworldy influences are there to ponder: African (North and elsewhere) and various Asian musics creep in as well. None of it sounds at all forced, or anything other than organic.

Björkenheim and Ligeti avoid the trap of one-dimensionality that plagues many "new" improvisers. Most of the songs dance and propel themselves forward. Ligeti sets himself apart from the "free" world's hordes of Milford Graves/Sunny Murray imitators. The drummer is capable of playing polyrhythmic free time, which never strays too far from the body's natural movements.

The album, oddly, has its share of greyish-metallic moments. When they hit up-tempo crests, they reach heights most metal musicians should glimpse ("Ghosted Walls," "Red Turns Rain Gold," "Duoyell.") When they rock, they mostly avoid tepid fusion noodling. Some of the tracks get heavy while remaining subtly tempered at the same time. Their ability to pull off delicately tangled, harnessed ferocity, stop-on-a-dime navigation is scary.

It's appropriate that Shadowglow —like many of its track titles—is a neologism. These are people pushing beyond the limits of language, verbal and musical. And it works.


Track Listing: 1. Into Fall 2. Ghostedwall 3. Niagara Mowhawk 4. Rain Turns Red Gold 5. Cogwheels of Speed 6. Shed and Torn 7. In the Flesh 8. Duoyell 9. Olivezone 10. Viciousphere 11. Fountain Jewel 12. Changgo Valse

Personnel: Raoul Bj

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: TUM Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Molto Bene" CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Dawg Yawp" CD/LP/Track Review Dawg Yawp
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Say So" CD/LP/Track Review Say So
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!