Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mushroom w/ Eddie Gale - Joint Happening (Heyena, 2007)

Mushroom is a bay area psychedelic rock band with influences running the gamut from Krautrock bands like Can, along with post rock the likes of Tortoise and electric Miles Davis. The Davis connection gets even deeper with the appearance of trumpeter Eddie Gale for this album. Gale had a brief period in the spotlight recording with Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra and also making two funky LP's for Blue Note. His chops have not deteriorated one bit and he fits in very well with the ethereal soundscapes that Mushroom lays down for him. Sounding at times like In a Silent Way or Bitches Brew era Miles updated for the new millennium, the album drifts through organ drenched drones with vibraphone and guitar occasionally bubbling up in the mix to change the texture. Gale if left free reign to play at will, stuttering and smearing his trumpet over the mix. Like fellow trumpeter Graham Haynes, who is mining much the same terrain, Gale will often leave long patches empty of trumpet, only to drop in with an exclamation at just the right moment. This is a beautiful and thoughtful stretch of music that should be embraced by both the jazz and jam rock communities. Hopefully it will also welcome Eddie Gale back to regular recording and performance, because clearly he has a lot left to say.

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