MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS — Inti (review)

MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS — Inti album cover Album · 2014 · Avant-Garde Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
“Inti” is the second album by avant-garde jazz group Machine Mass and finds them returning to similar devices as their first album, but with a little more aggression, noise and freedom this time around. Michel Delville returns on guitars and electronics, while Tony Bianco continues to fill the drum chair, but woodwinds player Jodi Grognard has moved on to be replaced by long time avant-fusion superstar Dave Liebman. Bringing Dave on is a nice touch, especially considering his broad experience and roots in this kind of 60s/70s influenced psychedelic free fusion. I can remember when I was young, older jazz fans would speak longingly about the sound of Coltrane’s tenor horn. I suppose if that generation had Coltrane, then mine had Wayne Shorter and Liebman, and certainly when Liebman’s beautiful soprano tone makes its first appearance on “Inti“, its hard not to get memories of those heady days when this sort of experimental music first opened the minds of young listeners.

Dave’s finest moment on here happens during the intro to the cover of “In a Silent Way”. “Silent Way” is a very risky piece to take on and most should leave it alone, but during the poignant intro Delville presents a pad of floating tambouras over which Liebman plays a timeless melody on the wood flute before they move on to Zawinul‘s classic tune. It’s a sublime moment which leads to possibly the best cover of this tune I’ve heard. Elsewhere throughout this CD, Dave and the Machine Mass guys present a variety of free form jazz fusion, often swing based in a post bop style, but sometimes in a jagged avant-funk manner as well. The band is very skilled at this kind of imoprov, so your enjoyment will probably depend on how much you appreciate free improvisation in the first place. Generally speaking, fans of modern free jazz have been very pleased with “Inti”. If there is one possible problem that persists here, it’s the occasional use of looped bass and/or keyboard parts. Obviously Machine Mass has no bass player, and the lack of bass on many tunes presents a pleasing open sound to their mix. On the other hand, the tunes that utilize something that sounds like a repeating bass loop as a sort of bass part can sound cluttered.

Fans of modern avant-garde jazz will want to get this, Delville and Bianco are very thoughtful and careful in their approach and Liebman sounds like nothing less than a sage.
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