Drummer Franklin Kiermyer takes the legacy of the great spiritual jazz players like Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane and brings the sound into the 21st century with this excellent album of challenging and bracing jazz. Accompanying him on this album are Azar Lawrence on saxophones, Benito Gonzalez on piano and Juni Booth on bass. The music is akin to the wonderfully punishing albums McCoy Tyner recorded for Milestone in the early 1970’s Atlantis and Enlightenment, which were potent modal jazz albums that also featured a young Azar Lawrence. While it might not be entirely free per se, the music is extremely powerful and emotionally resonant. The band as a whole is a powerful machine, in both their solo sections as well as when they are collectively improvising. Lawrence in particular is a revelation. After keeping a low profile for a while, he has returned with a vengeance, plowing through these improvisations with great abandon. Kiermyer knows how to put together excellent bands that are tailor-made for his compositions, on his 1994 album he employed Pharoah Sanders and John Esposito to excellent effect on the album Solomon's Daughter and then on the follow-up Kairos, the very underrated Eric Person was featured. Franklin Kiermyer has only recorded sporadically over the past two decades, but when he has the music has been memorable. Hopefully this excellent album can spur renewed interest and more recordings. Further - Franklin Kiermyer.com.
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