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

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Nocturno" CD/LP/Track Review Nocturno
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Two Calls" CD/LP/Track Review Two Calls
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Juxtaposition" CD/LP/Track Review Juxtaposition
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 9, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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