Friday, September 14, 2012

Animation - Transparent Heart (Rare Noise, 2012)

The group Animation consists of Bob Belden on saxophones and flute, Pete Clagett on trumpet, Jacob Smith on bass, Roberto Verastegui on keyboards and Matt Young on drums. Belden is the leader of the group and the composer of the tracks. After a decade of working on large scaled themed projects like the soundtrack to the film The Black Dahlia and the projects Miles From India and Miles Espanol, Belden decided that he wanted to tell a story of his own. What emerges on this album is a musical portrait of modern New York City and all of its attendant hopes, fears and conflicts. The specter of the terrorist attacks hangs over this album as it does for the city in tracks like "Seven Towers" where looped clips of bewildered control tower operators give way to a boiling improvisation. The same is true of "Provocaterrorism" written as a musical reflection to the actions taken in response to the atrocity. "Occupy" as well, weaves in chants and commentary of the Wall Street protests of 2011 into the music's larger motif. The music itself is quite interesting, developing a modern take on the electric period Miles Davis music that Belden knows so well from previous musical projects and and as a producer for Davis re-issues. Moving from haunting misty cityscapes to modern protest music, Belden covers a lot of ground and as Charles Mingus and Max Roach before him, tries to use jazz as a medium for the discussion of important social issues. Transparent Heart - amazon.com

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