MORAINE — Manifest Density

Jazz music community with review and forums

MORAINE - Manifest Density cover
4.30 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 2009

Filed under Jazz Related Rock


1. Save the Yuppie Breding Grounds (4:12)
2. Ephebus Amoebus (4:55)
3. Nacho Sunset (4:29)
4. $9 Pay-per-View Lifetime TV Movie (5:51)
5. Manifest Density (3:55)
6. Uncle Tang's Cabinet of Dr Caligari (4:01)
7. Disillusioned Avatar (5:15)
8. Kuru (5:02)
9. Revenge Grandmother (5:11)
10. Staggerin' (4:41)
11. Middlebrau (6:46)


- Dennis Rea / guitars
- Jay Jaskot / drums
- Alicia Allen / violin
- Ruth Davidson / cello
- Kevin Mallard / bass, ballset

About this release

CD MoonJune Records MJR028

Thanks to EZ Money for the addition and snobb for the updates


Amazon (logo)
Manifest DensityManifest Density
Moonjune Records 2009
$4.20 (used)
Showing 1 items | Cache expiring in 26h | Keyword-based search | Best seller rank | More results on
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Showing all 4 items | Price may be different, data is cached, expiring in 24h | Keyword-based search | Ordered by ending time | See results on


Specialists/collaborators reviews

Sounding somewhat like a mix of King Crimson's Lark's Tongue in Aspic, Fred Frith's Gravity, Bartok string quartets and McLaughlin's Indo - fusion, Moraine's Manifest Density draws on both fusion and progressive rock's past, but synthesizes something totally fresh and new at the same time. With two string players on board they are able to expand further on the violin-rock sound initiated by Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson. In fact, it's that seamless mix of semi-sting section and jazz-rock trio that is the hallmark of this band's sound. Although this band can improvise on a scale comparable to the best fusion bands, their love of progressive rock composition often makes them more similar to jazzy prog-rock bands such as Focus or Quiet Sun. Meanwhile, their tendency to favor heavy diminished scale riffs with odd-metered rhythms will bring on the Mahahavishnu/Crimson reference again. To their credit though, despite all the obvious tributes to their favorites of the past, Moraine never sounds cheaply derivative or short on original musical ideas. Also, their tendency towards the occasional 'pretty' melody or chord progression makes them different from the harsher members of the jazz-rock set. Album closer, Middlebrau, in particular recalls a classic escalating 'prog-rock' chord progression, but with a more modern less indulgent approach.

Like many of the artists on the Moonjune label, Moraine has a very pure 'live' sound with little or no overdubbing or slick studio technology. The exact antithesis of ambient nu jazz, acid jazz, trip-hop or much of today's post-Laswell neo-psychedelic music, the individual musical lines of each player can be clearly heard and they are not buried beneath reverb, echo and a plethora of modern 'dubbing' techniques. If you are looking for a modern and original extension of bands like King Crimson, Henry Cow and Mahavishnu Orchestra, Moraine has it.

Members reviews

kev rowland
Playing this album now, some four years after it was originally released, it is somewhat hard to realize that this is a debut. Here is a band that somehow fuses the strange weird anarchy of Art Zoyd with traditional Chinese influences, avant-garde jazz, hard rock and everything in between. The name of the band is in itself a clue to the music to be found inside the covers, as it is often defined as “An accumulation of boulders, stones, or other debris carried and deposited by a glacier”. What we have here are various talents who have somehow ended up in the same place and have formed a band, and sometimes they even sound as if they are on the same planet. I don’t want it to seem that there is no structure to what they are doing – rather it is the opposite, the only way musicians can play so diversely yet make total musical sense at all times is by having an innate agreement and strong understanding of the direction.

The line-up on the debut is Dennis Rea (electric guitar), Ruth Davidson (cello), Alicia Allen (violin), Kevin Millard (bass, baliset) and Jay Jaskot (drums) and while the rhythm section provides the foundation the three melody players vie for centre stage. I have lost count of how much I have been playing this, as it is one of those albums that has somehow refused to be review as every time I have tried to write the words I have instead sat back and let this incredible album flood over me. Personal favourite (today) is the title song, which starts with a repeated guitar line which is then joined by the others. Amazingly, this album was recorded in just three days yet is highly complex with purpose and direction. There is a real sense of togetherness and understanding of the journey to be followed which is often missing from this style of music where those involved are creating the path as they go along. Here the path is known, if only to them, and they follow it to new heights as if they know the route to the top, which may seem either impassable or invisible to others. An absolutely stunning album from the first note to the last.

Ratings only

  • lunarston
  • Fant0mas
  • progshine
  • nebol

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Melody to My Skull Fusion
Buy this album from MMA partners
Pierre de Bethmann Medium Ensemble : Todhe Todhe, Vol. 3 21st Century Modern
Buy this album from MMA partners
Live At Frankie's Jazz Club Hard Bop
Buy this album from MMA partners
Right On Time Hard Bop
Buy this album from MMA partners
Home With You, At Last Post Bop
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Todhe Todhe
js· 59 minutes ago
Off the Path
js· 6 hours ago
Planet Earth
js· 7 hours ago
Mimi Fox - She's Leaving Home
js· 14 hours ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Jazz News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us