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In the final section, ornamental guitar and dreamy horn ostinatos function as pigment intensifiers.
Only sinning for their too short duration, the remaining compositions trigger instant empathy and connection, revealing the strong bond between Kamasi and his peers.
He offers both an instant insight into Anouar Brahem’s intentions whilst at the same time fitting into the Holland/De Johnette partnership like his name was Chick Corea. Actually, to listen to the way Mr Bates falls into his lone three minute plus solo entry to , he’s at a place I haven’t heard Corea, or even Jarrett, inhabit in recent years.
A slow rhythmic repeat of the left hand against the right hand’s pointed potent melody is positively cosmic.
There’s a short interlude in the middle with just piano and oud harmonising the melody, and it’s the keyboard that offers romanticism. Mr Bates circling and rippling through and across Brahem’s picked variant melody, pinging and holding the notes; Holland and De Johnette adding eggshell cracks into the mix. The title track has the oud picking a maqam against a wisp of De Johnette. The oud continues and then the super drummer is back, not being ‘super drummer’, just hitting it damn right.
But that’s not where it stays, in comes David Holland’s sonorous double bass binding around the hook, and those funky drum patterns emerge; the oud stretches forth as if given renewed strength.
You can tell Bates is lucid and on the right ‘road’ because when Anouar Brahem’s oud eventually picks up the theme from him it is as if the pianist has already understood the pathos of the melody.