Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Sonny Simmons - Nomadic (Improvising Beings, 2014)

After a career of being under the radar, saxophonist and exotic instrument player Sonny Simmons is getting some well deserved attention with a boxed set released earlier this year, and then this unusual and beguiling album. On this album he is accompanied Thomas Bellier on electric bass, Michel Kristof on sitar and Sebastien Bismuth on drums and electronics. This is a very interesting and risk taking endeavor with the music developing very slowly and demanding extreme patience and discretion on behalf of the musicians and the listener. The music here is drenched in reverberation, giving it the air of an enchanting ceremony being held deep underground or in an ancient cathedral. The sororities of Simmons alto saxophone and English horn echo through "Help Them Through This World" where he develops his improvisation in conjunction with sitar and percussion, moving through a processional exclamation of spiritual inquiry. The idea of seeking develops further on "We Are Entering The Place Of That" and "I Put It In A Dark Area Where I Don't Remember No More" are an investigations into the nature of humanity by musical means with an interesting payoff. This album works quite well and has an unusual vibe that separates it from much of the other jazz release this year. Enigmatic and soulful it is emblematic of Sonny Simmons personal and universal quest. Nomadic - amazon.com

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