Friday, November 14, 2008

Colin Walcott - Cloud Dance (ECM, 1975, 2008)

This was a very interesting album that flew under my radar before stumbling upon it while looking at some of the reissues in ECM's Touchstones series. I was a little familiar with his work through his association with trumpeter and world music pioneer Don Cherry and their collective band Codona (whose albums are ripe for reissue.) On this album, Walcott is playing sitar and tabla, and he is joined by what is essentially the Gateway trio, John Abercrombie on guitar, Dave Holland on bass and jack DeJohnette on drums. I am having quite a difficult time trying to describe the music presented here in words, but suffice it to say that the album unfolds in a suite like manner, or like a flower, opening slowly to reveal the treasures within. Much like the Oregon record (Walcott was also a member of that band) I reviewed a few days ago, this album takes some time and contemplation to really get into, but the effort is well worth it. The three strings blend together well, with the exotic sounds of the sitar, the dynamic guitar and the pulsating bass work very well, especially when being underpinned by DeJohnette's supple drumming. This was a very interesting album and a fine example of how jazz and world music can successfully collaborate and draw inspiration from one another.
Cloud Dance -

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