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The Carl Michel Group: Music In Motian - The Compositions Of Paul Motian

The Carl Michel Group comprises, Mick Dobday on piano, Dan Kolton on bass, Alex Trajano on drums and, as you’d expect, Carl Michel on guitar. There’s also little surprise as to what the quartet are looking to achieve with an album called Music In Motion - The Compositions Of Paul Motian, the late, renowned jazz composer having his work presented by what proves to be a hugely talented and sympathetic collective. “India” opens proceedings and in truth pretty much steals the show, being one of those captivating pieces that you just can’t quite get enough of. And many a time I’ve come to the end of this beautifully poised version and immediately began it all over again; it’s that much of a joy.

“Osmosis” shares a similar feel, if not quite the same phenomenal captivation of the senses, but it’s still rather wonderful, if slightly less free flowing. Across the disc however, things are varied, and illustrate with a real sense of love and care just how eclectic the Motian songbook could be. “From Time To Time” being a heart tug from the acoustic guitar strings, while “Circle Dance” a swirl of gently energetic delight that has you moving in your seat, if in an understated way. “Mode VI” provides some dark shadows and flickering moods as Michel and Dobday, who it has to be said takes near equal billing as the album comes together, spark off each other in the most austere fashion.

With “In The Year Of The Dragon” knowing exactly how to cast a spell, “Abacus” bringing the kind of precision such a mathematically minded track really should - alongside some hoarse guitar strikes from Michel - and “Birdsong” the sparseness of the early morning call and response, it’s left to “Arabesque” to lead you to foreign lands and a world of mystique.

What the Carl Michel Group have conjured here is a classy and reverential look over a hugely respected and talented composer’s work. In truth there are few surprises and one or two risks might well have made for a more immediate and eye-catching voyage, but in those reflective moments it certainly hits the spot.

Track Listing
1. India
2. Mode VI
3. In The Year Of The Dragon
4. Abacus
5. Birdsong
6. Osmosis
7. From Time To Time
8. Arabesque
9. It Should Have Happened A Long Time Ago
10. Circle Dance

Added: November 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Carl Michel online
Hits: 792
Language: english

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