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Downes, Kit: Obsidian

Following his last ECM Records release Time Is a Blind Guide from 2015, UK pianist Kit Downes does a complete about-face for his latest album Obsidian. A decidedly non-jazz album, Downes revisits the early part of his career as a church organist, with a host of recordings taken by producer Sun Chung in 2016 from various Churches that Downes performed at, which were used to create Obsidian.

For the most part, Obsidian is a fascinating listen, and will instantly appeal to any lover of solo organ based music. "Black is the Colour" is just remarkable for its simpleness, the tones and dreamy melodies pulsing through Downes, while "Rings of Saturn" drifts along with quiet menace. One of the most upbeat numbers is "Flying Foxes", a quirky, complex piece with some of Downes' most complex passages on the album, more closely related to progressive rock than jazz, which can also be heard on "Last Leviathan". "Modern Gods" is the lone non-solo piece here, and features frequent collaborator Tom Challenger on tenor saxophone.

Clearly not an album for everyone, and somewhat of a departure from what we would normally hear on ECM, Obsidian is still a pretty cool album for anyone who digs the unique sounds of the church organ. Good stuff, and I'd love to hear Downes flesh this out in a full band setting.

Track Listing
01 Kings
02 Black Is The Colour
03 Rings Of Saturn
04 Seeing Things
05 Modern Gods
06 The Bone Gambler
07 Flying Foxes
08 Ruth's Song For The Sea
09 Last Leviathan
10 The Gift

Added: January 15th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist @ ECM Records
Hits: 1121
Language: english

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