70

Indigo Trio and Michel Edelin: The Ethiopian Princess Meets The Tantric Priest

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Indigo Trio and Michel Edelin: The Ethiopian Princess Meets The Tantric Priest Given the paucity of flute trios in the normal course of events, and the appearance of two almost simultaneously on the same label, it was only a matter of time before the Paris-based Rogue Art imprint brought the two main protagonists together. The Ethiopian Princess Meets The Tantric Priest represents the fruits of the union of AACM flautist Nicole Mitchell and her Indigo Trio, previously heard on Anaya (Rogue Art, 2009), with veteran French flautist Michel Edelin, best portrayed by Kuntu (Rogue Art, 2009).

Mitchell's Indigo Trio comprises master drummer Hamid Drake and bassist Harrison Bankhead, who anchor the daredevil flights of the twin flutists, with a feisty give-and-take which both grooves and goads. While not a cutting contest, and in spite of his rich warm tone, Edelin suffers in comparison to Mitchell. Her inventive narrative, vocal shadings, expressive multiphonics and incisive rhythmic wit create an alchemy few instrumentalists of any stripe can match. In fact, the vocal gymnastics which so enliven Mitchell's playing are relatively restrained here, but nonetheless her exposition at times defies categorization, blurring the distinction between voice and instrument. Both principals contribute to the swinging and tuneful 56-minute program, rounded out by one piece from Bankhead and one group improvisation.

One of the most melodic of bassists, Bankhead's approach carries over into the lush bucolic harmonies of his own restful "Return of the Sun," where he also contributes piano. It goes without saying that Drake propels with his unique combination of easy grace and raw power, bringing infinite variation even to the steadiest pulse. On occasion, he echoes the contours of the bass lines tunefully on his drums, recalling the great Ed Blackwell in his pomp. Drake breaks out his frame drum on the collectively birthed title track. buoying up Edelin's folky skirl. Of the Frenchman's two cuts, "Call Back" is a stalking march, while "Dérives" contrasts a fast tattoo with a slow unison, before opening for freewheeling blowing. Mitchell's "Inside the Earth" features both flutes intertwining a cappella in blues tinged colloquy, but her other contributions are more sprightly and intricate.

Overall it's a captivating and enjoyable listen which strongly begs the question, why aren't flute-led sessions more frequent?

Track Listing: Top Secret; Inside the Earth; Dérives; Wind Current; Call Back; The Ethiopian Princess Meets the Tantric Priest; Ambre Sunset; Return of the Sun.

Personnel: Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, piccolo; Harrison Bankhead: contrabass, piano; Hamid Drake: drums, frame drum; Michel Edelin: flute, alto flute.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Rogue Art


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Back Where I Belong" CD/LP/Track Review Back Where I Belong
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Matt Marshall
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "AHEO" CD/LP/Track Review AHEO
by James Nadal
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!