Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Loren Connors and Daniel Carter - The Departing of a Dream, Vol. VII (Family Vineyard, 2019)

For almost two decades Loren Connors has been fascinated by the Miles Davis' epic performance "He Loved Him Madly" written and performed to mark the passing of Duke Ellington. in this case he uses electronics and guitar and is joined by the multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, using decaying trumpet drones and slashing sheets of electric strings. The music evokes the electric bands of Miles Davis, particularly on the emotional level, beginning on the first track where wounded trumpet will be juxtaposed against waves of almost industrial sounding noise, using grinding slabs of sound and then opening up for an uneasy moment of calm and peace. There is a cinematic moment where the mind camera focuses on the trumpet as if it is this beautiful flower that at any minute could be overwhelmed by the encroaching machine, crashing and grinding like an ever approaching maw of destruction, whether that represents industry, greed or avarice, there is a sense of lonely haunted fear that pervades the music. The second piece goes into more ethereal territory, with guitar and electronics and saxophone taking an artistic almost painterly approach to the music. Miles' electric music wasn't just a blowout of sound and fury, he maintained the lyricism that had been a hallmark of his sound all the way back to the Birth of the Cool Days. So when it came time to honor Ellington, he approached the color palate and tonal control of the maestro, while maintaining his supernatural patience and tonal control. There is a quiet moment for spare saxophone improvising purely is the moment with just the bares backdrop of electronics, evoking the beauty tat is possible in this context. This is what the second piece examines using guitar and saxophone, instruments that were important to the original Davis piece, but they go in a different direction, using the piece as a jumping off point for a surreal reimagining of the music, with gentle curves of saxophone and shades of colorful and flowing guitar creating a wonderful and evocative performance, they reach into the darkest areas of music and shine a light that fades behind the drones and decaying sounds of the music. Departing Of A Dream VII -

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