Migration is the collaboration between Sound Designer, Composer, Editor, and Musician/Programmer Hamilton Sterling and Yellowjackets bass player, Producer, and Composer Jimmy Haslip. Part jazz, part avant-garde, and part World Fusion, Migration is more an aural experience than something you just throw on for background noise. Created as a soundtrack to take the listener on a journey beginning in Senegal and ending up on another planet, Migration uses enchanting soundscapes, live nature recordings, bass, and percussion, all to great effect. The opening 15+ minute track "Senegal Suite" fuses chilling avant-garde noises with melodic jazz as well as sweeping World Music soundscapes, while the title track is an intoxicating brew of natural water sounds and buzzing electronics, giving the listener a feeling of being isolated out at sea, floating on a lonely raft with no rescue in sight. "City of Light" builds and builds from low cascading drones to huge swells of Asian accented instrumentation, in what is easily one of the more bombastic pieces on the CD. After the brief, Tangerine Dream-ish "Sadness, Away", comes the ominous "City of Water", and just as the duo succeeded on "Migration" of making you feel like you were stranded in water, this one is a suffocating amalgam of space images, with Haslip's muscular, effects laden bass rumbles squeezing through a haze of unearthly noises and soundscapes, giving the effect of being drifting hopelessly in space. The finale, "Spiral, Dreams of Home" brings everything together in a postive tone, a caustic, jazz-fusion number, reminding the listener that all is not lost, as the busy instrumentation and bright colors end the album on a lighter note.
We were given to review both the CD version and the double sided DVD, which contains the album in 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2 channel PCM 24 bit 48kHZ, both DVD Audio & Video. Depending on the type of equipment you have will depend on which is the best choice for you, but all the available formats sound absolutely breathtaking. Migration certainly isn't going to be for everyone, but if you are a prog or jazz fan who likes things on the avant-garde side, you might find this to be a pleasing journey into advanturous worlds, courtesy of Sterling and Haslip.
1) Senegal Suite (15.17)
2) Migration (8:17)
3) City of Light (9:05)
4) Sadness, Away (2:14)
5) City of Water (9:52)
6) Spiral, Dreams of Home (5:29)