Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bill Laurance - Aftersun (2016)

Label: GroundUP Music
Source: The Guardian
Genre: Electronic Jazz/Crossover

Snarky Puppy pianist Bill Laurance has let the solo persona he introduced on painterly and cinematic journeys such as 2014’s Flint and last year's Swift off the leash with Aftersun. It’s an uninhibited jam on more succinct materials, featuring his Snarky Puppy rhythm-section partners Michael League and Robert Searight and the exciting St Louis-based Ghanaian Weedie Braimah, whose hand drums provide fireworks that light up the set. There’s a contemporary Headhunters feel in the wah-wah sounds and choppy time swaps of the opening Soti, while the gentle piano hook of The Pines invokes Robert Glasper – and a fast rhythmic undertow, contrasting with the languid theme, sets a creative pattern often revisited on the session. The flute-like theme and African drums sound of Bullet have a ritualistic grip; the title track is a brooding anthem; A Blaze is an irresistible hook with a Caribbean feel. For all its sense of players’ freedom, though – and some flying piano breaks from the leader – Aftersun might still have too smooth a sheen for some jazzers, but there’s no doubting Laurance’s creativity as a very unusual kind of world musician. John Fordham

01. Soti (5:24)
02. The Pines (6:23)
03. Time To Run (8:19)
04. Madeleine (4:57)
05. Bullet (4:04)
06. Aftersun (5:59)
07. First Light (4:55)
08. Golden Hour (4:39)
09. A Blaze (7:57)
Bill Laurence - keys
Michael League - bass
Robert "Sput" Searight - drums
Weedie Braihma - percussion