Album Review

Rhyton/Emerald Tablet

carsonstreet   10/25/2021   12-inch, A Library

Rhyton is a trio devoted to exploration built on a foundation drawn from psychedelic rock, roots music of many stripes, and modernist soundscapes. Composed of multi-instrumentalist David Shuford,  Jimy SeiTang (bass) and drummer Spencer Herbst. Rhyton developed from Shuford’s desire to return to open-form music, which he’d explored in great depth with the No Neck Blues Band.

The three pieces on “The Emerald Tablet” are improvised and wide-open, though they hew closely to rhythms and modes derived from North African and Middle Eastern music and the dusky textures inherent in Shuford’s electric mandolin. Like the bastard child of John Cipollina and Rudolph Grey, Shuford unspools incredible midrange fantasias, chunky and feedback-drenched but equally dexterous and graceful.

If you are curious a rhyton is a type of drinking vessel used in ancient Greece, typically having the form of an animal’s head or a horn, with the hole for drinking at the bottom.

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