All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

10

Charlie Ballantine: Where Is My Mind?

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine continues on the eclectic path forged on Providence (Self Produced, 2016) on Where Is My Mind?, his third self-produced outing as a leader. Ballantine is again joined by alto saxophonist/flutist Amanda Gardier, with a new rhythm section of bassist Jessie Whittman and drummer Jay Tibbitts. In the absence of a keyboard there is even more emphasis on the guitar. It's all twangy Americana on openers "Real Things" and "Jones"—Gardier doesn't join in until the last part of "Real Things," and "Jones" is a trio. So is "Hallways," which mixes swing with atmospheric loops and a bass solo.

The title tune—which is indeed a Pixies cover—opens with some warped electronic sounds before launching into the tune proper. Ballantine and Gardier take turns playing the tune and the accompaniment pattern, and while the leader maintains a rock feel even while soloing, there are saxophone solos that effectively overlay an overtly jazz approach. "Futuretown" goes for freedom and grunge in equal measure: Ballantine sounds like a different guitarist on it. Sun Kil Moon's "Carissa" is a dark ride with the lyrics, but without them it becomes a delicate waltz ballad. It includes creative electronic processing on the flute, different enough that it may not even be identifiable at first listen.

The "Where Is My Mind?" reprise is a short blast of electronic dub. The traditional tune "Wayfaring Stranger" strays closest to Bill Frisell territory (one of Ballantine's avowed major influences). It's a potent blend of looping with acoustic and electric guitars, another effective example of the subtle guitar layering that characterizes much of the album. "The Last One" closes the set, a brief, melancholy unplanned collective improvisation at the end of a night of recording. It's a fitting conclusion to an album that blends spontaneity with meticulous post-production, and shows little regard for stylistic categories: jazz, rock and folk music peacefully coexist in Charlie Ballantine's world.

Track Listing: Real Things; Jones; Hallways; Where Is My Mind?; Telluride; Birds; Future Town; Carissa; Where Is My Mind? (reprise); Wayfaring Stranger; The Last One.

Personnel: Charlie Ballantine: guitar; Amanda Gardier: alto saxophone, flute; Jessie Whittman: bass; Jay Tibbitts: drums.

Title: Where Is My Mind? | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Polygon" CD/LP/Track Review Polygon
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Jazz Triangle 65-77" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Triangle 65-77
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Solo a Genova" CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017