There have been times when I felt it was best to just sit back and listen to the music on a release someone sent me to review, and allow it to speak to me in the deep way it was already determined to do. In fact, there have been a few in which I wish I could wave a magic wand and just bypass some paragraphs of words and force the reader to listen for themselves. This disc went to that place where the energy and knockout performance was so far in the upper stratosphere, it just pins one to their seat for the entirety of the recording.
Knowing who and why this elite jazz fusion trio created this project did help me understand the result. As some of the early 1940's troubadours had knowledge off the true grit of the jazz scene as it was in America verses other parts of the world. Greats such as Buddy Rich (born in September 1917, who bathed in the glory of many of the jazz masters of the time) spoke out about the music up until his sad death in April 1987. Any mature musician knows the score when entering the jazz world. PAROKSHA pays homage (and was deeply inspired by) to their idols who include Joe Zawinul, Miles Davis, Larry Young, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Mingus. But this is not just a tribute, but a to the bone gratitude of explorations created by the three artists Marco Anderson (drums, programming. synth solos and vocoder on 'Zawloop Syndicated' - a 7:28 opening track that shakes the ears to what this album brings), Beni Williams (keys, synth bass, programming), and Phil Gibbs (electric guitar, kalimba guitar). Previous reviews I have done include the all so great AURORA CLARA 'Transformation', which also included Marco Anderson. This is just one other of many that Anderson contributes drums/percussion to. His discography as well as the other two members would be highly rewarding to check out. The back cover of this CD says it clearly. This is a channeling of those ancestors that made such an impression on the music world, no matter what the label or genre given.
Recorded live in the Bristol University Studios, Clifton UK in 2016, this was direct to digital with only a quick audition to some loops they had made in preparation. The whole of the project is full blown improvisation as it occurred, by all means possible - spirit bending, osmosis, and pure love from the soul of each of these dedicated musicians. After all, the pure energy displayed here is as it should be, given in huge doses of blood sweat and tears of the masters that made these three musicians so auspicious in their own art, has also been experienced by the performing trio themselves. In a world of television idols, cute teenage singers, extensive lack of musically skilled bands, and commercial pop, who could even fathom that some musical form like jazz would survive? But as Buddy Rich stated in his last interview, there is indeed a large attentive audience that appreciated this higher music. And in many parts of the world it is held in the highest regard. Much thanks given to the guys in Paroksha for not only adding to the catalog of great recordings for the people who want something substantial and nourishing, but also for paying honor to these fantastic predecessors of jazz and rock.
I quote what Wikipedia.com states about the word the band names themselves. "In Indian philosophy, Paroksha refers to mediate knowledge or indirect cognition, mediated by sensory-intellectual apparatus, in which thought systems psychological insights that have evolved in the context of two levels of realities, empirical and transcendental, are gained through both direct cognition and indirect cognition of things that exist in the universe". The Cd cover art conveys that and is subtitled "the spirit radio sessions". The group also comes to overflowing fruition on this release. It will be finally released in 2021 and should not be missed (I was sent a pre-release copy to review).
Describing each track is really futile as just knowing the strength of this band and the artists who they are laying a hold of is all the interested parties need to understand. This is first rate, superlative improv by a trio who has spent 20 years together as a unit making high level music. With only some overdubs of keyboard on one track and some post editing, Marco said this is as it happened and is a live documentation of the trio at their best. I can fully endorse this fact. The music is four on the floor the whole way through, and so clean, so exact, so incredibly ripe with what sounds more like a long rehearsed and composed set of songs, yet it is only the beyond the extraordinary talent of this band that produced such a gleaming achievement. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and then some.