Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

147

Raoul Bj: Shadowglow

By

Sign in to view read count
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

Title: Shadowglow | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: TUM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Bleak House" CD/LP/Track Review Bleak House
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Opening Statement" CD/LP/Track Review Opening Statement
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "A Piece of the Apple" CD/LP/Track Review A Piece of the Apple
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 7, 2017

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!