160

Metamorphic: The Rock Between

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Metamorphic: The Rock Between Metamorphic is part of the F-IRE Collective, one of Britain's most innovative and exciting musical organization. Such an association immediately establishes the band as an ensemble of interest—and the music on its debut, The Rock Between, doesn't disappoint.

Composer, arranger and keyboardist Laura Cole is Metamorphic's leader, and the member who has the most intense personal connection with the music. The Rock Between traces Cole's experience of repetitive strain injury, depression, recovery and motherhood. With inspiration coming from such a range of life-changing experiences, it's unsurprising that The Rock Between is not always a comfortable experience. But however personal the inspiration may be, the music is never self-indulgent, the group's upbeat and optimistic take on Kenny Barron's "Sunshower" a suitably life-affirming album closer.

The album's centerpiece is the ten-minute title track, which explores a multitude of musical textures and incorporates moments of real power as well as gentler, more relaxed sections. Cole's Fender Rhodes and Tom Greenhalgh's drums are crucial to the tune's underlying tension, but the star performer is undoubtedly guest reedsman Shabaka Hutchings on bass clarinet.

Cole's arrangements of Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear" and Björk's "Hyperballad" also stand out. Monk's tune gets a smooth-flowing treatment, highlighted by John Martin's lyrical soprano saxophone. "Hyperballad" is an altogether gentler song than Björk's own version; taken at a slower pace with more delicate instrumentation and a crystalline, emotive, vocal from Kerry Andrews, it's quite lovely. Andrews is a skilful and adept interpreter of Cole's songs, whether she's producing the soaring, wordless, vocals of "Light Up Yourself" and "Sunshower," or imbuing the very personal lyrics of "The Cloak" with genuine sensitivity and understanding.

The music and performances on The Rock Between have rare strength and beauty. Metamorphic, the band, and Cole, the writer and arranger, have set the bar high for their future work, but this first album clearly shows that they have the talent to reach that bar, and jump right over it.

Track Listing: Light Up Yourself; Two Solitudes; By Lullaby; The Rock Between; Ruby My Dear; Kind Folk Tell Me A Bedtime Story; The Cloak; Hyperballad; Out Inside; Two Feet Fall / Nardis / Sunshower.

Personnel: Laura Cole: piano, Fender Rhodes; Kerry Andrew: vocals, loops; Chris Williams: alto saxophone; John Martin: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Paul Sandy: double bass; Tom Greenhalgh: drums, percussion; Shabaka Hutchings: bass clarinet (4).

Title: The Rock Between | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: F-IRE Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Third Stage of Elegance" CD/LP/Track Review Third Stage of Elegance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Traffic" CD/LP/Track Review Traffic
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Unfolding In Tempo" CD/LP/Track Review Unfolding In Tempo
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Skyjack" CD/LP/Track Review Skyjack
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Songs Of Life" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Of Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.