The Kandinsky Effect: Somnambulist

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The Kandinsky Effect: Somnambulist
An active touring unit, the musicians shred musical perimeters to smithereens on their third album. Rooted in modern jazz, the trio morphs funk, rock and electronica into the big picture amid pulsating grooves, shimmering accents and otherworldly treatments, as if a UFO transported them from a distant planet. But saxophonist Warren Walker leads the charge with his up-tempo phrasings and melodically tinted extended notes, aligned with drummer Caleb Dolister's snappy backbeats and Gael Petrina's deep bass lines.

They huff, puff and blow the studio down on most of these rebel-rousing tracks, although they temper the pitch on "Annabelle Chases a Bug," due to Walker's velvety sax lines that gravitate to a jagged experimental muse along with subliminal effects and Dolister's polytonal cymbals and percussion maneuvers. With "Chomsky," the trio is a multitasking sound machine with glimpses of heavy metal jazz, while implementing a staggered cadence during "Taghzout," where Walker's yearning notes provide similes of someone reaching out to be heard somewhere in the heavens atop a punchy jazz rock motif and Pertina's penetrating riffs. Thus, each track stands firmly on its own.

An ambient electronica backdrop surfaces on "Sunbathing Manatee," as the bassist states the primary theme via nimble plucking and softly iterated tonalities. Yet the band opens the floodgates with a tuneful hook, manifested by the saxophonist's echoing, soul-drenched choruses, contrasting Dolister's accenting use of mallets across the toms. Overall, the artists' communicate a hip deportment that merges serious minded technical acumen with toe- tapping, intergalactic undertones and a knock your socks off mode of execution.

Track Listing

Copalchi Distress Signal; Somnambulist; Petit Loup; Flips; Annabelle Chases a Bug; Trits; Koala; Chomsky; Taghzout; Sad Fly; Sunbathing Manatee; Muji.


Warren Walker: sassofoni, effetti; Gaël Petrina: basso, effetti; Caleb Dolister: batteria, percussioni.

Album information

Title: Somnambulist | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records

Post a comment about this album


View events near San Francisco
Jazz Near San Francisco
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon


Matthew Shipp / Whit Dickey
Rachel Musson
Invisible Words
Falkner Evans
Bob Mintzer & WDR Big Band Cologne
Another Land
Dave Holland
Native Sons
Los Lobos


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.