Sunday, March 02, 2014

Machine Mass feat Dave Liebman - INTI (Moonjune, 2014)

Machine Mass is a very interesting experimental fusion band formed around core members Michel Deville on guitar and electronics and Tony Bianco on drums and loops. Joining them on this particular album is the well known jazz musician Dave Liebman, here playing tenor and soprano saxophones as well as wood flute. This album was recorded in Pennsylvania in 2012 live in the studio with no overdubs which is impressive considering the complex electronic and acoustic elements at play. The most obvious reference point for this music may be the electric jazz fusion of Miles Davis, especially when Liebman held down the saxophone chair in the Davis groups of the early 1970’s. This new version of the Davis/Joe Zawinul standard “In A Silent Way” touches on this, but in a very oblique way. With Liebman on flute along with electronics and subtle percussion, the group is able to touch on the enigmatic nature of the original recording. But they are also capable of rocking out with impunity, especially Delville, who can hold his own with anyone on the progressive scene with towering riffs and majestic soloing best exemplified on the opening tracks “Inti” and “Centipede” and the slow building “Elisabeth.” Bianco, who has helped craft two extraordinary John Coltrane tribute albums with Paul Dunmall acquits himself quite well here, driving the music along and using the looping technology to develop wider percussion textures. This album worked very well, coming off as both exciting and enjoyable, using spontaneous improvisation to create excellent music, most of which were first takes. Inti -

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