Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Harriet Tubman - Ascension (Sunnyside, 2011)

Harriet Tubman's Ascension is an intriguing mix of DJ/dub textures, jazz, sci-fi sound culture and Sun Ra style cosmology. Interesting stuff, definitely along the lines of Sun Ra’s late 70’s recordings like Lanquidity and Media Dreams and Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar ensemble. It is an interesting feat of collective improvisation and sound-scape making that blends together into a suite like hypnotic context. The ensemble consists of Brandon Ross on guitar, Melvin Gibbs on electric bass, J.T. Lewis on drums, Ron Miles on trumpet, DJ Logic and DJ Singe on turntables. Despite the name of the album it has very little to do with the Coltrane avant-garde classic, save for its goal of using music to raise humanity above the mundane path of everyday life. The music is mostly groove oriented, revolving around Gibbs’ extraordinary bass and allowing the turntables and the other instruments to use it as a pivot point or a canvas to paint pictures of the great beyond. Drawing from a large number of possibilits The musicians develop a great deal of texture with their symbiosis with each other and the music and should make this an interesting album for either groove fanatics or open minded jazz fans. Ascension - amazon.com

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