181

Robert Mitchell's Panacea: Trust

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Robert Mitchell's Panacea: Trust The cultural trajectories of most musicians tend to be unidirectional. Sometimes they point south towards real or supposed roots and authenticities, sometimes north towards the European conservatoire, sometimes east and sometimes west. Rarely does the rocket travel in two directions simultaneously.

Robert Mitchell's vision, unusually, is omni-directional. He is as involved with African and South American musical traditions, especially their rhythmic heritages, as he is with post-Debussian European composition and harmony, and as concerned with the spirit as he is with the intellect. These particular bipolarities make for a distinctive and ambitious vision, and one which sits happily amongst the other movers and mavericks which make up London's rainbow-hued F-IRE Collective.

Mitchell is also equally well-balanced between instrumental and vocal musics—every track on this album, Panacea's second, features vocals of some sort: sung, rapped or recited, occasionally wordless, mostly with lyrics. As the title of Trust suggests, the songs are mainly concerned with relationships, be they stable, as on "A Heart (Full Of You)" and "The Thief Of Dimensions," or in flux, as on "Breath On The Mirror" and "The Brink."

Mitchell's music manifests an arresting tension between the astringent, almost atonal, sung vocal lines, with their allusive language, which are features of most tracks—and the warmth and passion of their instrumental accompaniments. Saxophonist Barak Schmool and percussionist Volker Strater, for instance, are both hot and emotionally articulate players, and their contributions are key to leavening and humanising Mitchell's compositional austerity. Strater is especially strong on "The Thief Of Dimensions" and "Shukran," and Schmool is compelling throughout. Mitchell himself is a fluid and inventive joy on his all too infrequent solos.

Mitchell's singular blend of east and west, north and south is still in development. But this is an album of considerable depth and substance which reveals new facets with every additional listen.

Visit Robert Mitchell on the web.


Track Listing: The Brink; Cotopaxi; Breath On The Mirror; If These Walls Could Speak; The Thief Of Dimensions; Shukran; Trust; A Heart (Full Of You); Ocean (In A Small Hand).

Personnel: Robert Mitchell: Fender Rhodes, piano, Wurlitzer piano, electronics, compositions, arrangements; Deborah Jordan: vocals; Barak Schmool: soprano, alto and tenor saxophones; Tom Mason: electric and acoustic basses; Richard Spaven: drums; Volker Strater: percussion. Norma Winstone: vocals (4); Eugene Skeef: recitation (6); Ty: recitation (8); Gurdeep Stephens: vocals (9); Eska Mtungwazi: vocals (3); Mike Mondesir: electric bass (2,5); Robin Mullarkey: electric bass (8).

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: F-IRE Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Message From Saturn" CD/LP/Track Review Message From Saturn
by James Nadal
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "This Is Nate Najar" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!