A fierce energy leaps out of the opening chords of The Process – it’s an immensely exciting start to a recording that has you on the edge of your seat. Primary colours abound in the vivid orchestral texture and the faster sections of the songs keeps the music on a tight rein, with rhythms and phrasing precise and alert. It’s quite a shock to hear the “B” suite (the only part that grows familiar as the recording progresses) move seamlessly into the introductory section of this suite, a tempest that foreshadows The Process.
One aspect of The Process that militates against its complete performance on record is its episodic nature: the 11 shortish sections have little chance to develop, but they eventually do as each of them is melded one into the other. Exceptions are the more extended “Haunted” about a third of the way through, or the beguilingly named “Turn on the Light/Ascent” where the group uses a myriad of instruments including electronic keyboards as a background to several soli for keyboard wünderkind Jon Batiste and drummer and percussionist, and electronis manipulater Chad Smith and a later dancing figure featuring the growling bass of Bill Laswell.
The pristine sound to the instruments gives lightness and transparency to the texture and Jon Batiste as well as Chad Smith and Bill Laswell and the other stellar musicians keep the music moving so that you can easily imagine it being danced to. That’s the hallmark of this whole programme: playing that’s subtle and individual—small ensemble music on a large scale—a high level of listening informs the performance. Capture all that in a recording that gives space to the sound, but not too much clouding resonance and you have a winner.
Track List:B1; Drop Away; Timeline; Haunted; B2; Turn On The Light/Ascent; Black Arc; Spiral; B3; Time Falls; The Drift
Personnel: Jon Batiste: piano, electric piano, Hammond organ; electronic keyboard, Harmonaboard and percussion; Chad Smith: drums and percussion; Bill Laswell: basses, guitar and electronics; Tunde Adebimpe: vocals (2); Killah Priest: vocals (6); Garrison Hawk: vocals (6); Toshinori Kondo: trumpet (4); Peter Apfelbaum: flute and tenor saxophone (6), and soprano saxophone (11); Dominic James: guitar (7, 10)
Label: M.O.D Technologies
Release date: January 2015
Buy music on: amazon
About Jon Batiste
At 25, Jon Batiste is considered by many to be one of the most exciting and progressive new crossover talents on the scene today. A Movado Future Legend award recipient and a Steinway Performing Artist, Jon has performed in innumerable events and venues across the world. His modern take on the American Songbook, through the channels of a virtuosic pedigree in jazz and classical music, is attracting acclaim as well as audiences across all demographics. Read more…
About Chad Smith
Chadwick Gaylord “Chad” Smith (born October 25, 1961) is an American musician, Will Ferrell lookalike, and current drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, whom he joined in 1988 and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Smith is also the drummer of the hard rock supergroup Chickenfoot and currently the all-instrumental outfit Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats. Read more…
About Bill Laswell
Over the course of some three decades, visionary bassist-producer Bill Laswell has been one of the most prolific and restlessly creative forces in contemporary music. A sound conceptualist who has always been a step ahead of the curve, he has put his inimitable stamp on nearly 3,000 recording projects by such artists as Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Bootsy Collins, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Blur, The Ramones, George Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders… Read more…