Friday, May 18, 2012

Darius Jones Quartet - Book of Mae'Bul: Another Kind of Sunrise (AUM Fidelity, 2012)

Alto saxophonist and composer Darius Jones completes the first trilogy in his Man’ish Boy series with this album accompanied by Matt Mitchell on piano, Trevor Dunn on bass and Ches Smith on drums. The music has the ability to move from bop-based jazz to free music, using space and sound as a malleable substance. Jones uses his deep and piercing saxophone tone to develop texture and sonic waves to great effect and the quartet develops as an organic entity, mindfully channeling their own transitory nature to keep the music fresh and alive. “The Enjoli Moon” opens the album with pinched and ripe alto saxophone playing a circular melody over bouncing piano chords as Jones further develops his impressive solo statement, building in fast and raw. A sweet melody, gentle as a lullaby is featured in “The Fagley Blues” which also incorporates a fine piano, bass and drums section, before Jones returns with the rhythm section deftly supporting him. Jones’ yearning, dark hewn sound imbues “My Baby,” playing over a jagged piano, bass and drum backdrop. “You Have Me Seeing Red” has strong, fast group playing moving into an emotionally wrought saxophone section which evolves into the gentle ballad “So Sad” which is dark and haunting. I liked this album a lot, it had a searching, seeking tone that was emotionally resonant and very impressive. The artwork is extraordinary too, making me wish for a vinyl version. Book of Mae'Bul: Another Kind of Sunrise -

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