161

Transcendental Psychology: Transcendental Psychology

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Since the group's meeting at the Oberlin Conservatory in 1991, Transcendental Psychology has undergone a series of evolutionary reincarnations. After moving to New York and losing their vocalist, the group has settled down long enough to make their first record. The eponymous Transcendental Psychology embraces the spirit of improvisation within contexts of funk, rock, soul jazz, and hip-hop.

As a fusion of styles, this record works wonderfully. The secret is an unrelenting emphasis on the groove, whatever the context. For the most part, the harmonic backdrop for these pieces remains rather static, so there isn't much of the usual tonal evolution associated with jazz. But the instrumental performances here retain elements of swing and momentum that continually refresh the beat.

Guitarist Chris Lockett leads the group, in formal as well as functional senses. His limber work on the guitar (plus keyboards, and a fine but limited helping of oud) helps provide a colorful backdrop for the other players... when he's not twisting and writhing through his own solos. Groove bands these days tend to suffer from excessive reliance on funk and rock cliches from the '70s, but Transcendental Psychology makes a regular effort to keep it fresh. The inclusion of percussionist Bernardo Gajano helps a lot here: his efforts to color the rhythms assembled by drummer F. Carter Hoodless helps give more body to the overall pulse. And despite the relative harmonic stasis of these compositions, saxophonist Jacques Henri Taylor builds up enough forward momentum and energy to propel the group forward.

Transcendental Psychology is the kind of record you might want to play when relaxing with friends or simply chilling at home. The music on this disc may not be particularly dense or challenging, but that's the beauty of it. This disc packs a delicious groove and enough punch to keep up constant interest. And at times, it's got a body-shaking edge that might just get you up out of your chair. It will be exciting to see what happens with tomorrow's reincarnation of Transcendental Psychology.


Track Listing: Transcendental Psychology; Kind Wish; Seep; Ancestor Worship; Unknown; Hotfreaks; Demonfish; Reciprocal Inhibition; Bliss; Swerves; (We Must Respect) All the Creatures of the Earth; Thirst; Mystic; Preaching to the Converted.

Personnel: Chris Lockett: guitar, keyboards, oud; Jacques Henri Taylor: tenor saxophone; Brian Lee: bass; F. Carter Hoodless: drums, dr. beat; Bernardo Gajano: percussion; Jessica Seidel: cello; Nina Spensley: vocals.

Title: Transcendental Psychology | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Chromium Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Free Sessions Vol. 1: Planets Of Kei" CD/LP/Track Review Free Sessions Vol. 1: Planets Of Kei
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 27, 2017
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Chimeric Stoned Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Chimeric Stoned Horn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Little Steps" CD/LP/Track Review Little Steps
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Better Left Unsung" CD/LP/Track Review Better Left Unsung
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor