Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Modus Factor: The Picasso Zone

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Hollow, reverberant trumpet. Electric grooves. Ambient undertones. Infectious bass. Slippery electronic textures mixed with lithe improvisational flights. Modus Factor's debut The Picasso Zone is a stellar example of modern jazz's hybrid nature as well as the creative surge coming out of Canada's jazz scene of late.

Conceived by drummer Chris Lesso and featuring Brownman Ali on electric trumpet and Ian De Souza on bass and effects, Modus Factor belongs firmly to the Miles Davis electric period branch of jazz. Anything but derivative, however, the trio explores this territory with a forward looking cant, drawing in modern influences to deliver a roiling mélange of funk, fractured beats, trip-hop atmospherics, and unpredictable explosions of ecstatic improvisation.

Comprised of ten distinct pieces, Picasso Zone presents a wide range of tunes that manages to establish a consistent thematic space without being repetitive. The standout "Still I Rise" alone would grant the album excellence. A true tour de force, the composition features the politically charged poem by Maya Angelou, read by the author herself. The tune marries Angelou's feminist/civil rights statement with a brilliant arrangement and nuanced musicianship that draws on the author's vocal rhythms and expressive tone to translate the powerful lyric into a modern musical context that creates a poignant challenge fit for our fraught times.

Other highlights include the pulsating, effects laden opener, "Brownian Motion"; the multi-layered, temperately paced "Casa Kimono," on which Ali most notably channels Davis; the hypnotic, ambient infused "Rounded Corners"; and the drum and bass oriented "Jagaan."

A solid foray into electric jazz that judiciously transverses genres, Modus Factor's debut is as enticing as it is thoughtfully crafted. It brims with energy, even when probing slower tempos, and effectively utilizes an array of electronic effects and astute musicianship to sculpt a distinguished and distinctive sound. A potent beginning that leaves the listener curious for more.

Track Listing: Brownian Motion, Now & Zen; Still I Rise (feat. Maya Angelou); Casa Kimono; Afindia; Rounded Corners; King Ghidorah; Jagaan (Awakening); Jeet Kune Flow; Metanoia (Transformation of the Heart).

Personnel: Chris Lesso: drums, konnakol; Brownman Ali: electric trumpet; Ian De Souza: electric bass, effects; Santosh Naidu: percussion (4); Andrea Koziol: voice (3).

Title: The Picasso Zone | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Browntasaurus Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Brownian Motion

Brownian Motion

Modus Factor
The Picasso Zone

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Picasso Zone

The Picasso Zone

Browntasaurus Records
2017

buy
The Picasso Zone

The Picasso Zone

Browntasauras Records
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Flying" CD/LP/Track Review Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Groovin' With Big G" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin' With Big G
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Rumah Batu" CD/LP/Track Review Rumah Batu
by John Kelman
Published: June 10, 2018
Read "Hawthorne" CD/LP/Track Review Hawthorne
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 9, 2018
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 4, 2018
Read "Life Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Life Stories
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 13, 2018