Album Review

Frequency – “Frequency ” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

Thurston Hunger   8/31/2006   CD, Jazz

Whoa! This was a drop-everything-else-I’m-listening-to kind
of release… Breezy yet powerful. Lucid melodies rival solo
flights for attention throughout, man this one focuses you
like a prism. Windy City wonder, everybody in this quartet
comes packing a flute, and this release has as much air as
Michael Jordan. The first two tracks start by flexing muscle,
with Avreeayl Ra splash battering and dry rolling the charge,
stellar numbers with Harrison Bankhead delivering that sort of
stately funk that Malachi Favored on the opener, while on
“Take Refuge” he’s buzzing up and down fretlessly and hitting
some big thwaaaangs especially at the end, that’s a triple
ganger off the diving board. Then on “Satya” the piece/peace
penned by Ra, the drums are stashed away in favor of a chime
intro, but eventually he whips up some wrist flurries and
Edward Wilkerson’s tenor goes for broke with Nicole Mitchell’s
flute nipping at its heels. Then the quartet goes celestial,
clockwork of the cosmos with kalimbas climbing. Epic! “From
the Other Side” has Bankhead skelter bowing, with squeaky
shrieks and tweaky reeds. Overall I think Mitchell’s flute
(and harp, vocals and such) are what give this release a
vibe of ceremonial bliss, but as the last cut “Serenity”
shows, she is not alone, that might be Ra on the primary
flute…definitely a “together” release.

-Thurston Hunger

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