Today there was a thunderstorm in Edinburgh to compete with the torrential rainforest type downpours I have experienced in Sumatra and Borneo, and the flash-flood inducing carnage of Namibia and Botswana and other semiarid environs, each following the same pattern: quickly progressing from the first droplet to full on tidal bore just outside your door.
Songs From Another Blue Planet by Antonio Quijano Project
But this downpour was in Edinburgh, notoriously wet, but, well, FFS! There were buses being bailed out and the lightest models of car floating downstream, past the stunned faces of the local inhabitants cramming the windows that skirt the city streets.
While all this moist mayhem ensued outside and, at times, inside our windows (despite reasonable double glazing, the torrent was just too great), I thought to fill our interior space with this latest CD from the Antonio Quijano Project, comprising Antonio Quijano (bass), Paul Dunmall (saxophone), Philip Gibbs (guitar) and Mark Anderson (drums).
And then I realised, that while the storm was indeed noisy, it was actually more thunderous within than without. This is one powerhouse outfit, unsuitable for children, pets and anyone of nervous disposition.
Already described as if a supergroup of John Coltrane, Weather Report and early John McLaughlin had hazarded their way together, to my ears there are additional nuances of Steve Marcus (sax), Hadrien Feraud and Jeff Berlin (bass), Sonny Sharrock (guitar), and Dennis Chambers (drums).
Inventive, imaginative, and texturally luscious and damned exciting, turbocharged onslaughts give way to intoxicating balladry and an exotic Arabic-African motif that provide intriguing counterpoint.
Quijano’s bass style is slippery and sliding, beautifully hugging the road as the outfit charge unremittingly, Dunmall’s reeds gripping on for dear life and Gibbs’ runs and chops screeching through the curves, all driven incessantly by a supercharged Anderson, who is revelatory in not only his ability to anchor the rhythm below, swinging and hammering, while embellishing feverishly above, but also how he has developed his playing to evermore dizzying heights in the decade or so since I’ve known him.
And yes, I know Marco, but sod that! This is jazz at its modern best.