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.

| Record Label: Chromium Recordings | Style: Funk/Groove


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Vyamanikal" CD/LP/Track Review Vyamanikal
by Duncan Heining
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Knock A Hole In It" CD/LP/Track Review Knock A Hole In It
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Our Second Set" CD/LP/Track Review Our Second Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!