Erik Scott‘s ambient bass album, Other Planets, tops Echoes Top 25 List for February. It was our February CD of the Month and if you happened to miss the many times we played it, you can catch up with our review.
The Top 25 this month proves to be a more balanced affair than recent lists. It embodies the avant-garde, old and new with Jon Hassell‘s sensually insinuating The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street. Then there’s the Codona Trilogy, a 3 CD set of reissues of all three albums by Codona, a pioneering world fusion group with the late-Don Cherry and the late-Collin Walcott along with Nana Vasconcelos. Nice to hear that again after some 30 years. It was a good month for ECM records here. Besides Codona and Jon Hassell, albums of chamber jazz by the Wolfert Brederode Quartet and Marcin Wasilewski Trio made the list.
Retro space music made itself heard in the form of new music by Robert Schroeder‘s Taste It! I’m not to sure about that album title which smacks of heavy metal album names like UFO‘s Force It or Spinal Tap’s Smell The Glove, but it’s vintage space music circa 1979 from a musician who came in at the tail end of that sound. Ian Boddy’s Slide also slips into the retro mold, but with a modernist’s sensibility.
The Top 25 list is always currently released CDs, but a couple of 2 year old stragglers got in this month. Ray Montford from Canada just sent A Fragile Balance, his beautiful CD of country-tinged space guitar instrumentals. It came out in 2007, but it’s too beautiful not to place in current rotation. And I only just discovered an album of great electric-acoustic guitar duets from Police guitarist Andy Summers and classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery. First You Build A Cloud is a finely honed CD that pits Verdery’s guitar filligree against Summers’ sustained leads. This was apparently a stealth release since I could find virtually no reviews of this CD on line. Verdery only had it sent to us after I mentioned it to him when he swung through with the International Guitar Night tour. And artists wonder why no one is hearing their music.
Lot’s of other cool things on the list including a return of world fusion. Rokia Traoré’s Tchamantché is a seductive album of deep Malian soul. Martine Lund-Hoel brings the Norwegian hardanger fiddle back and Kaya Project’s ethno-ambient music, our January CD of the Month, is still riding high.
Take a listen to #4 on the list, David Darling’s Prayer for Compassion. It’s our CD of the Month for March and will be topping this list then. A deep and powerful album of ambient chamber music from the avatar of that sound. You can read a review here.
So check out the complete Echoes Top 25 for February. You’ll find links to most of the discs there.
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))