207

Chris Morrissey: The Morning World

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Morrissey: The Morning World At first blush, The Morning World feels not so much about a bassist as leader of the ensemble, but rather as the bass as leader of the ensemble. This would per force mean that the character of the instrument first establishes its sonic character on the music, or rather makes the music swirl around it. Because Morrissey is smart and as dexterous as a bass violinist this is never a boring expedition. Rather, the relationship of the instruments in each of the compositions has an almost nether-worldly character because of the manner in which the parts have been written into each other.



The bass dominates virtually throughout either through pedal point—as in "The Skinny Part of Idaho," or in "October Aught Four"— where every other instrument simply swirls around the pedal point. And in "The Curious Habits of Harold Hill," itself a quirky composition reminiscent in its alliterative title, of something the extraordinary writer J.P.Donlevey might narrate. So a dominant bass instrument, rather than a dominant bassist and the music to go with his character, are two separate theses altogether, and make this record somewhat oblique but mesmerizing as well.

Morrissey has allowed his magnificent bass violin with its low frequency character and tuning dictate the dense and darkened harmonics of the music. Melody is minimal, as in "None is the Number," or even somewhat simplistic as in the title Track, "The Morning World is Waiting." Compositionally, the music sketches vast canvases of sound that could be taken as reminiscent of the prairies—at any rate, a mid-western panache. There is a cavernous quality about the recording where the saxophones appear to be blown from cave-like surroundings as if to pass a strange but diffident commentary as the twister of life blows by.

The key is in the frenetic "The Sub-Prime Sword Claims Another," while not like a Zorn excursion, certainly has that "Spy-vs-Spy" quality to it. It's racy with a thundering bass over everything and the saxophone screaming as if from under societal debris. A pure rant, it's almost punkish in its forthright manner—no room for discussion or argument. "The Noble Liar's Ancient Machine" bubbles and boils over in a frantic staccato that seems never to let up, but drives on to its inevitable conclusion. And finally there is the song, "If Rushmore Should Fall"... the forbidding bass and saxophone interplay says it all.

This is a superb attempt by Morrissey to create a musical commentary in sharp counterpoint to the (Happy) life that has been wrecked by complacent seduction to the urban and not enough time to stop and stare in that operatic manner.

Track Listing: The Skinny Part of Idaho; October Aught Four; Mountain Don't; The Curious Habits of Harold Hill; The Morning World is Waiting; None is the Number; The Sub-prime Sword Claims Another; The Noble Liar's Ancient Machine; If Rushmore Should Fall.

Personnel: Michael Lewis: saxophones; David King: drums; Peter Schimke: piano (3-5, 7, 9); Bryan Nichols: (1, 2, 8); Chris Morrissey: bass; Chris Thomson: saxophone on (7).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Fringes of Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Knock A Hole In It" CD/LP/Track Review Knock A Hole In It
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Triadic Episode" CD/LP/Track Review Triadic Episode
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2017

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!