Sunday, February 17, 2013

Billband Towards Daybreak Innova 2013

Billband: Towards Daybreak Given the evocative cover art and the title that leans slightly towards the New Age sub genre which may have only out lived Smooth Jazz but a year or two tops, Towards Daybreak is actually described as minimalist music for dance. With the exception of perhaps ballet or certain forms of the classical including the waltz and the minuet, "minimalism" is not a term most people would associate with dance except the irony here is that the less is more approach works like a charm and this deconstructed groove is exceptional in both form and function while leaving the listener to channel their own inner groove.

Billband's original recording was in 2004 and was a bit of what I refer to as a jazz nasty; raw, organic and a deceptively subtle funk found itself as but a thread in this multi-dimensional sonic tapestry seemingly designed to hit the listener on visceral cerebral level. Truth be told, this is the sound Smooth Jazz has longed for. Towards Daybreak actually fits the Chamber jazz mold but with an eclectic instrumentation not normally associated with a slightly more serious sub genre. The instrumentation here includes:  Ashley Bathgate (cello), Vicky Chow (piano), David Cossin (percussion), Michael Lowenstern (bass clarinet), Pablo Mahave-Veglia (Cello), Jonathan Nichol (saxophone), and Todd Reynolds (violin) carefully and methodically lead their listeners to a land of the eclectic rhythm and groove including leaving a sonic opening for some exquisite string work that creates an under current of an intimate and more reflective tone.

The ebb and flow makes singling out one one or two particular highlights an all most impossible task. As Chamber jazz has grown and developed and hybrids are now the rule and no longer the exception. For post modern classical with jazz sensibilities and some deceptively pop melodic direction Towards Daybreak is perfect. I have absolutely no critical remarks to make at all.

Billband is the future of post modern jazz and with talent such as this, look for their own unique hybrid to continue to grow and develop. While it is early in the year, one of the most impressive releases I have heard over the last two years - easy!

Song Title
1.Simple Lines
2.Towards Daybreak
3.Rapid Assembly
4.A Simple Place
5.Solitude in Transit