Friday, January 06, 2017

Tisziji Muñoz - When Coltrane Calls Session 1: Fierce Compassion (Anami Music, 2016)

The prolific guitarist Tisziji Muñoz is developing a series of albums that look into the music and the legacy of John Coltrane. This is the first release of the series where the accompanying musicians included John Medeski on piano, George Koller, John Benitez and Don Pate on bass and Tony Falco, Bob Moses and Adam Benham on percussion. The band comes forth with a great sense of urgency on this album and the music has a very exciting sense of burning free form jazz fusion with extended electric guitar playing that recalls Sonny Sharrock and Jimi Hendrix along with Coltrane. "Wise One" opens the album with scalding electric guitar, and drums keep pace, and Munoz plays with a terrific sense of immediacy and the musicians accompanying him feed this fire. The brilliant and haunting dirge of Coltrane's "Alabama" is met with deep empathy by the musicians as they use the melody to carve their own path through the music. "Ogunde 1" was from Coltrane's last album and explored freedom in his most personal way. The musicians on this album stretch and meld the music in their own manner with gales of scalding guitar, rippling piano and slashing drums. They take the music far out and explore the freedoms offered by the music in a dense and exciting manner. They develop one of the masters most enduring melodies on "Lonnie's Lament" with fine solo statements and ensemble playing, especially by Medeski who seems especially attuned to the music. The music has the feeling of questing, as if the musicians are searching for a new dimension of musical time and space. The sound multiple drummers and bassists with piano develops wide ranging sense of rhythms. This was an excellent if a little lengthy album, and fans of electric guitar in either a jazz or rock setting will be thrilled. Medeski’s contribution is quite fine, and he does make his presence known, and this affecting of modern spiritual jazz is highly recommended. When Coltrane Calls Session 1: Fierce Compassion -

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