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The Return
(2020 - 7D Media - USA)

The first bars of music dance with instant changes, and excitement closer to classic eastern fusion such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, who once spun audiences in a state of euphoria. On this sophomore release by Jason Everett's Deep Energy Orchestra 'The Return', it is more like return to blow you away! The complexity here compared to the debut ('Playing With Fire') is likely to astound people. The 16:55 four part tour de force ('Moksha: The Elimination of All Duality')  with 'The Village', 'The Battle', 'The Journey' and 'The Return' is startling in not only composition, but in the quantity of ideas, textures, plus rapid transitions packed in with brilliant arrangement. This is the new fusion of 2020. White hot!

I was ready to take a break after that opeming door buster, but what would come next? 'Zyryab' is a cover of Paco del Lucia, with a beautiful Spanish flamenco spirit, both nimble and graceful. Quite a nice piece with plenty still going on, especially the acoustic guitars. Things get bold and big again with 'Call of Kali', with the feel of a giant marching through the thick forest, taking down bushes and trees or anything in his way. The process of the visionary work is further accented by some killer drums by Don Gunn (I checked with Jason and there is no relation between Don and Trey Gunn, in case that jumped into your mind as it did mine). 'Grapes For Khan' is an adaption from 'Raga Mishra Kafi' by Ali Akbar Khan. Absolutely glorious.

'Resolve' has a crisp rhythm with some hermetic, yet smooth and quick bass solo work. Also some dazzling tabla by Anil Prasa and great electric guitar by Fareed Haque. Featured members on this second platter are: Featured artists on the record include, Fareed Haque (Billy Cobham, Zawinal Syndicate), V. Selvaganesh (Shakti with John McLaughlin), Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Neyvili Radhakrishna (Jonas Hellborg), Ujwal Nagar (Advaita), Suhail Yusuf Khan, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. Jason Everett performs on 7-string fretless bass, 6-string acoustic bass, and composes all music except the mentioned covers. The bass work and especially the solos are outstanding. Jason has upped his activity on 'The Return', as well as composed far more involved pieces. In short, his bass player has been taken up a few notches, and so has his writing skills. Many other guests appear to make this a full blown success.

For the last track 'Mysterious World', the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra appears. This gets epic. With runs and riffs galore, along with orchestral grandeur, the ending of the album leaves you shaking your head with glee. 'The Return' never lets up with one strength after another, and true display of higher up skill. Much of the music is simply stunning. If you buy the physical compact disc, the story of the opening masterpiece is explained, and package comes in 6 panel fold out with more critical info inside. This makes my TOP CHOICES of 2020 list right away. MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

   ©Reviewed by Lee Henderson  2 - 29 - 2020    
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