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...

8

The Process: The Process

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
The Process is like a radioactive atom that centers and orbits around the futuristic power trio of bassist Bill Laswell, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Jon Batiste, the latest in his family's longstanding line of New Orleans keyboard visionaries.

"The original idea was to film unfamiliar musicians playing together in a room with no preconceived direction. Over time it began to transform into making a record," Laswell explains. "Beginning by exploring each other's musicianship, laying out fundamental structures and patterns, morphing them into new and alternate shapes fused together to form constructs—then adding new sounds, words and first-rate musicians to the growing core. I kept saying, 'It's a Process, it takes time."

Several tracks seem to echo some of the most progressive music in jazz and rock history, while Smith drives this entire Process with passionate drumming that sounds and feels genuinely tribal.

"Spiral" is the perfect description of this tune's rhythmic flow, moved by Smith's drums in a circular tribal beat that doesn't stop so much as it simply runs out of time. Smith and Laswell churn the instrumental "Timeline" into a space-age New Orleans organ trio: Laswell's bass doubles as the trio's guitar, Smith thickly spreads second line snare drumming throughout the jam while Batiste's organ rockets through the stratosphere (you might even say, in deference to Sun Ra, that Batiste travels the spaceways).

"Haunted" is another simply perfect title: Toshinori Kondo turns in an amazingly Miles Davis-like performance, with his trumpet thickly processed through electronics into sharp jabs and soaring shrieks of turbulent electric blue, red and purple sound; in the spacey middle passage, Kondo's trumpet seems to stop, then stretch, and then expand both sound and time, with extended breathy blues.

"The Drift" opens with synthesizer recycling and occasionally refracting a small melodic figure while Smith's drums slowly but surely bring a larger sound to rhythmic life, a kind of jazz-rock-African-electronic fusion in which Laswell has been trading long enough to trademark. Soprano saxophone from Peter Apfelbaum, tethered only to those drums, suggests saxophonist Mel Collins' playing on formative sides by early King Crimson or Roxy Music, an "everything old/new is new/old again" sound to complete The Process.

"I wanted to take a risk and be inspired by other musicians who feel the same. There was no music written before we got to the studio. Whatever comes into your head—grab a rhythm and run with it," Smith concludes. "I tried not to play grooves I've done before. I know Jon was stretching as well. This project was an exercise in growth and trust."

Track Listing: B1; Drop Away; Timeline; Haunted; B2; Turn on the Light/Ascent; Black Arc; Spiral; B3; Time Falls; The Drift.

Personnel: Jon Batiste: piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, electronic keyboards, harmonaboard, percussion; Chad Smith: drums, percussion; Bill Laswell: basses, guitars, electronics; Tunda Adebimpe: vocals; Killah Priest: vocals; Garrison Hawk: vocals; Toshinori Kondo: trumpet; Peter Apfelbaum: flute, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Dominic James: guitar.

Title: The Process | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: M.o.d. Technologies

Tags

Listen

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Process

The Process

M.o.d. Technologies
2015

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May24Fri
GOBBO, The Process
Appalachian Brewing Company
Harrisburg, PA

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019