LOGAN KANE NONET
(2020 - Orenda Records - USA)
A debut from Logan Kane, bassist extraodinare and even more so an inventive composer who presents a ripe elevation of jazz fused collective music, in what forebearers like Frank Zappa (RIP) would be proud of. Nothing feels imprisoned in Kane's nine piece ensemble, much like Elton Dean's Ninesence, and to the contemporary delights of avant - classical jazz output of merge content masters like Lauren Elizabeth Baba (theBABAorchestra) and Samantha Boshnack. To add to the glory, doses of Canterbury and elements of multiple other styles are interwoven with beautifully crafted nuances at each moment. I was reminded of Bill Bruford's Earthworks at times, with the happy bebop and well chosen Latin rhythms in some pieces.
As a truly gifted and selfless musician/composer, Logan does not place his bass up front or in the center of attention. He is rightfully more concerned about his music being all it can be, in each turn and twist, measure by measure and ultimately that the performance can produce an eargasm for the listener. High status musicians come together to make 'Nope, Science' a sparkling gem. Credits include David Binney – Alto & Soprano Saxophones/ Katisse Buckingham – Flute & Vocals/ Dan Rosenboom – Trumpet & Cornet/ Jon Hatamiya – Trombone/ Henry Solomon – Baritone Saxophone & Bass Clarinet/ Megan Shung – Violin/ Luca Mendoza – Piano/ Benjamin Ring – Drums/ and leader Logan Kane – Bass, Cello, & Compositions. He also produced and created the cover art. With a little help from friends, Tracks 1-6, 9 were composed by Logan Kane, "Proximity 7" was composed by David Binney, and a name very familar to jazz fusion fans has a cover "Above & Below" which was of course composed by Allan Holdsworth. David Binney arranged that tune. So you can see the 'Cool Hand Luke' seasoned and new comer artists that give a performance to remember. Logan Kane being only 23, this is youth sharing perfectly with wisdom of years, and truly becoming delicious and full of accomplishment beyond belief. If you read the credits, you caught the vocal inclusion from Katisse Buckingham, which does a compact spoken word spill on 'Golf' that fits right in with the flow. It also gives one more ingredient to the amalgamation. 'Saigon' follows with one blazing fusion piece that features a few blasts of solos supremely done, including Kane's titanic fuzzy bass splurge.
So much scope, sometimes lavish, full of foliage and with quick jargon, a touch of wit, and many dividends to those who buy and listen closely. Onerous arrangements devour the eardrums growing new brain cells. There is an omniscient reveal that awards the eager and doubles, then triples the appreciation of these efforts put forth on this wonderful album. Some tunes levitate the stage with great solos or bring about a call and response fire engine of players. The final song 'Stray Cats' sprouts complex rhythms and dances wildly among the buttercups, as if barefoot and trying to dodge the bees. Partly like an energetic slideshow, yet so appealing and exciting to ride the combinations of fast pace and soft relaxed passages.
It would be helpful to know Logan Kane (located in California) studied jazz with Ambrose Akinmusire, Peter Erskine, and composer Vince Mendoza. He is also a member of punk funk rock band Thumpasaurus. This is a key to how he gained the generous spread of styles and radiant elements of this magnificent solo album 'Nope, Science'. This is thrilling and easy to give a gigantic recommendation to. In fact, it ranks as one of the best recordings of 2020 on my list. This is paramount.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 5 - 23 - 2020