MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS — As Real as Thinking

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MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS - As Real as Thinking cover
4.00 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2011

Tracklist

1 Cuckoo 9:25
2 Knowledge 6:11
3 Let Go 4:56
4 Khajurao 5:22
5 Hero 10:15
6 UFO-RA 6:46
7 Falling Up 18:03
8 Palitana Mood 3:05

Line-up/Musicians

Tony Bianco Drums, Loops, Percussion
Michel Delville Bouzouki, Electronics, Guitar
Jordi Grognard Bansuri, Clarinet (Bass), Composer, Flute, Sax (Tenor)

About this release

Moonjune Records ‎– MJR041 (US)

Recorded October 18, 2010 at Dans Ma Cabane Studios, Liege, Belgium

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS AS REAL AS THINKING reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
There was a time when the idea of ‘mellow’ avant-garde jazz would have been quite the oxymoron, but then the days of dropping a tab of acid and blowing the roof off went the way of the designer dashiki and freedom loving jazz musicians began to re-think what they could do with their brave new freedom. Calling “As Real as Thinking” mellow might be a bit misleading because these guys know how to raise the roof when called for, but still there is often a very careful and sensitive nature to this band’s improvisations that is very effective as well as enjoyable. Machine Mass Trio consists of guitar, woodwinds and drums, but often sounds much bigger than a trio due to their use of ambient electronics and other devices. The band combines equal elements of post bop, modern fusion, nu jazz electronics and free form improv to create a unique sound that is all their own. Some possible references might include a more out version of McLaughlin’s “Extrapolation” with added electronics, or possibly the quieter moments on Bill Frisell’s Power Tools project. Other references might include two of the band member’s other project, Doubt. On cuts like “Khajuaro” and “Palitana Mood” the Trio brings on the classic sound of flute playing Indian scales over electronic drones that may remind some of side four of Miles’ “Agharta”, or the middle break in Soft Machine’s live “Facelift”.

Not everything on here is totally laid back, “Let Go” features hard guitar riffing against frantic drums and “Here” features insistent rock like riffs topped by free saxophone wailing. Another stand out track is “UFO-RA” which opens with what sounds like a tribute to early Ornette Coleman until a goofy atonal horror house organ ride recalls Sun Ra at his most mischievous. The guys mix it up and the result is one very interesting CD that holds up well to repeat listening. The absence of standard verses and choruses keeps the music fresh and unpredictable. This is excellent modern jazz and highly recommended for people who want to catch up on what is happening in jazz today.

Members reviews

kev rowland
Originally MMT were a side-project of douBt, which contains both Tony Bianco (on drums and loops) and Michel Delville (on guitar, bouzouki and live effects – he also plays guitar in The Wrong Object), and here they have joined with Jordi Grognard who provides saxophones, bass clarinet and flute. ‘As Real as Thinking’ was recorded in just one day towards the end of 2010 in a small studio in Belgium, and the band is clear to make the statement that there are no overdubs at all. This album is all about expert musicians feeding off each other, going where the music drives them, which isn’t always as clear to the listener as it is to those who are undertaking the journey.

The closeness with which Michel and Tony interact is just astounding, and Jordi takes little or no part on “Falling Up” which is by the far the longest song on the album as the guys just go for it – providing an intensity and note density which is incredibly powerful. It is pushing through the limits of avant garde into prog and even into areas that are almost outside of music itself – just an incredible experience. It is incredibly difficult to comprehend the relationship these two musicians have with each other as they keep feeding each other with ideas and energy. In other pieces it isn’t unusual for both Michel and Jordi to be changing instruments as well as styles so that it often feels that there are way more then three guys involved, performing all of this totally live. As the label describes it so well, this was a “session of bold, risk-taking improvisation”. A final moving statement from Tony, “This record was recorded as my beloved wife, Mary, was fighting for her life. She has thus passed away and my playing is a tribute to her beautiful soul.” If you want music that is challenging the norm then this is it, but if you want simple clean repeated pop melodies then this probably isn’t for you. www.moonjune.com

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