Dream Garden


aec.jut8537.2 1/29/08 New

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    Dream Garden Justin Time

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Review Text Adam Rudolph is percussion master, composer, arranger, and producer. His Moving Pictures group has been one of his three mainstays (along with HU Vibrational and Go: Organic Orchestra) since he founded the group in 1992 (despite having literally dozens of other projects including the Mandingo Griot Society and collaborating with Dr. Yusef Lateef on some 20 albums in as many years). Its members have shifted continuously, but jazz drummer Hamid Drake has been a member almost since the beginning; Ned Rothenberg has also been a contributing member in the past. On Dream Garden, however, his debut for Justin Time Records, Rudolph moves his group into an entirely new sphere, one in which the culminations of his hundreds of collaborations and his multi-disciplinary approach to composition and improvisation all come to bear on a single recording. That doesn't mean hodgepodge, either. This version of Moving Pictures contains perhaps its most talented lineup yet. Rothenberg is here on everything from shakuhachi, C-and bass flutes, to bass clarinet and alto saxophone; Drake, with his drum kit, gourds, and frame drums, is present. Trumpeter Graham Haynes has put his experimental electronic and club explorations on hold for the time being to bring his trumpet and flugelhorn to this mix, while Shanir Blumenkranz is here on bass and the three-stringed sintir (a bass-like lute). As if this weren't an already impressive ensemble, guitarist Kenny Wessel and multi-instrumentalist Brahim Fribgane (who plays not only his trademark oud, but also cajon, bendir, and tarija) are here as well. Finally, rounding all of this out is the great bansuri flutist Steve Gorn, who also plays a Pakistani oboe, clarinet, and various Indian penny whistles. What's it sound like? It sounds like the center of a universe where the cyclical rhythmic pulses are those of the world's various traditions -- many of which Rudolph himself is has studied as both musician, and ethno-musicologist -- and he plays seven instruments including thumb pianos, naqqara, tarija, caxcixi, gourds, hand drum sets (djembes, tablas, congas, timbales, and talking drums), with a boatload of other percussion items; all of which meet in the great vanguard tradition of spiritual jazz structured elements of world folks and classical musics. While it would be simple to call this "world fusion," it would be inaccurate. The aesthetics that create Dream Garden are quite specific and disciplined. Rudolph's hand drums open the album for "Oshogbo." Drake fills the backdrop almost immediately and then Haynes comes in on trumpet with flutes, saxophone, and whistles entering with a stretched, loping, unhurried melody that is underscored and colored by electric guitar chords and the exploration of intervallic mediums. The bassline rambles and rumbles not as a pulse but as an accent; it moves between the percussionists on a steady, ever intensifying drive. Haynes takes his solo and is answered by the chorus of instruments as he splays and splatters notes, never moving too far outside the melody. He is in turn answered by Rothenberg, who smatters and moans into the very heart of the rhythm, only to be rejoined by Haynes in a series of pulses that bring us to an abrupt stop. The short interlude that is "The Violet Hour" with its gorgeous shakuhachi, painterly electric guitar splashes, with clarinet and trumpet caresses, is a whisper of the wide open, slowly evolving collective improvisation that introduces "Twilight Lake." While there is space and room to breathe, there is never a stop in the action, and this beautifully Eastern-tinged melody begins to articulate itself in shades of color, the dialogue between muted trumpet, bass clarinet, an upright bass, and the guitar is pensive at first as scales are being formed right from the ground up. Notes are held as others slip through and pull them off their moorings to travel. By the time Rudolph and Drake enter, the shakuhachi is moving into another lyrical idea. Not

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Oshogbo - 6:29
  2. 2. Violet Hour - 1:09
  3. 3. Twilight Lake - 7:21
  4. 4. Scintilla - 1:03
  5. 5. Happiness Road - 3:05
  6. 6. Cousin of the Moon - 8:35
  7. 7. Mood - 1:01
  8. 8. Vision of Pure Delight - 5:09
  9. 9. Mystery - 2:15
  10. 10. Spectral - 3:28
  11. 11. Helix - 8:17
  12. 12. Dream Garden - 2:05
  13. 13. Sphinx - 3:02
  14. 14. Walking the Curve - 6:40

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