Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fusion CD of the Month - "Moraine: Groundswell"

Fusion CD of the Month
Moraine: "Groundswell" (MoonJune) 2014

Produced by Dennis Rea and Steve Fisk.
Executive Producer: Leonardo Pavkovic
Recorded by Steve Fisk @ Sound House (Seattle), November 2013
Mixed by Steve Fisk @ Arundel Gardens (Seattle)
Mastered by Huntley Miller @ HM Mastering (Minneapolis)
Cover Photo: Tristan da Cunha (from space courtesy NASA)
Group Photos: Helaine Burch & Danette Davis
Cover Design: Alexandar Popovic
Liner Notes: Glenn Astarita

Featuring: Alicia DeJoie (electric violin), James DeJoie (baritone saxophone & flute), Kevin Millard (NS stick bass), Dennis Rea (guitar, electronic interventions, Mellotron), Tom Zgonc (drums)

Moraine's most recent metamorphosis highlights their reoccurring theme of unbridled invention -- undeterred by convention and delivered convincingly, with abandon! Brushing all preconception aside, Dennis Rea and company courageously initiate proceedings from a place to which most modern progressive bands can only dream of ascending. 

Featuring a host of engaging new originals as well as pieces written for the band by composers Daniel Barry and Jon Davis, Groundswell is certain to cement the band’s standing as a singular voice like no other in the modern progressive jazz-rock continuum.Building on the momentum generated by their previous releases for MoonJune Records, Moraine draws from the more exotic facets of the avant garde and fusion equations. [Their critically-heralded debut, 2009's manifest deNsity (MJR028), and 2012's spectacular follow-up, Metamorphic Rock: Live at NEARfest (MJR040), are albums which garnered hundreds of glowing reviews worldwide -- earning the band a diverse following, ranging from jazz aficionados, to metalheads, to world-music enthusiasts, and beyond.] 

Moments of "early-Crimsonesque" intensity are often balanced out by a more Eastern approach to melody, arrangement and ensemble delivery; the music is delightfully fresh and unpredictable throughout. Brilliant compositions decorated by powerful themes, sudden shifts, sensitive group dynamics and fiery solo excursions dominate this session, as Moraine reveals a more psychodelic vibe, while remaining collectively and steadfastly plugged into the magic of the moment at hand.Lovers of the best offerings from the RIO, classic fusion, prog rock, avant garde, progressive jazz, free jazz and Eastern music genres will all find plenty to sink their teeth into here -- but that only starts to penetrate the surface of this delectable amalgamation! 

All of the band's components -- leader/guitarist Rea; violinist, Alicia DeJoie; sax/flutist, James DeJoie; bassist Kevin Millard, and; the band's newest addition, seasoned veteran drummer Tom Zgonc -- are in peak form, playing in highly-inspired fashion, on this very special outing. "Groundswell" is one of the most ambitious, far-reaching albums from the progressive genre this year. This is "brave new fusion" ... as it's title might infer, this one is destined to leave a mark.

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