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).

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Son Of Nyx
Son Of Nyx
Tamil Rogeon
Read Solo/Duo
Solo/Duo
Eli Wallace/Beth McDonald
Read Solo
Solo
Daniel Rotem
Read Immigrance
Immigrance
Snarky Puppy
Read Rites of Fire
Rites of Fire
Kelvin Sholar Trio
Read BB XL
BB XL
Walter White

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.