Fourth World

BTL 020 BTL 020

"James Emery (guitar), Joe Lovano (clarinet, soprano, alt, tenor, soprano, clarinet, log drums, drums, cymbals, bells, shakers, gongs), Judi Silvano (voice, flute, gong), Drew Gress (bass) Recorded: May 15 and 16, 2001 There is a melody in Bellflower like a weird and wonderful thought, a melody that could be right out of a composition by bop-piano outsider Thelonious Monk. It throws a revealing light on James Emery, whose unique performances on the acoustic guitar are rooted both in the jazz tradition and in the contemporary world of sound. Guitar riffs with uncanny arabesques and twirls reveal his skills in single-note play just as in chord accompaniment, and have such a plastic feel to them that the sounds might have been stamped out from metal. On Fourth World, Emery converses with Joe Lovano, who has just been crowned Jazz Artist Of The Year and has received more or less all the awards the trade journal Down Beat has to bestow. What is so sensational about this session is the fact that this outstanding musician not only plays most of the instruments in the saxophone family but also excels as a drummer and percussion player. His introduction on an array of gongs in Worship creates a meditative mood, which is taken up by Emery's flexible guitar lines until a theme is set up unisono by the onomatopoeic entries of the vocalist and of Lovano's soprano saxophone. The rhythmic pulse of Drew Gress' underlying bass figures supports the guitar solo, which is interspersed with action-laden percussion. The appeal of James Emery's new CD stems from the multifarious levels of the musical action. In Hannah, an intelligent bossa nova atmosphere is created during the improvised exchanges between Lovano's tenor saxophone and Silvano's flute, underpinned by light-hearted Latin rhythms. The Next Level establishes a contrasting mood: the heated exchange between the guitar and the alt saxophone ventures into new dimensions of sound. In Golden Horn, with its brawny bass introduction, Lovano not only features in an exciting improvisation on the tenor saxophone but also provides the appropriate beats."