Phalanx Ambassadors by Matt Mitchell; Bandcamp Link: Phalanx Ambassadors
I’ve been listening to Phalanx Ambassadors for the better part of 2 weeks and I still feel like I am still uncovering aspects of it with each listen.
Here are my notes:
“Pointillism, Zappa, A-harmonic, Harmelodics”
The ensemble is composed of keyboards, vibraphone, guitar, bass, and drums.
I say Pointillism as the melodic motif (such that there are any) are often divided between instruments, giving a feeling of spray.
It is super rhythmically dense, these players deserve goddamn medals, especially the drummer and bassist, for dividing and subdividing as they do here. Which reminds me a bit of some of Zappa’s work.
A-harmonic, as it feels like the pieces are more multiple melodies snaking through thickets of rhythm than a single melody with related harmonies.
Harmelodics, as Mitchell’s method seems a bit along the lines of some of Ornette Coleman’s ideas.
Which makes it sound a bit difficult.
And it is a lot to take in.
On the other hand, the tunes are not particularly dissonant, in fact the opposite, often quite tonally pleasant.
After a couple days, I started to think about who might enjoy this album most easily.
My conclusion, such as it is, is that probably a person familiar with modern classical music is going to be more likely to easily enjoy this album than a person who is stuck in the classic jazz rut. And maybe even a prog rock fan might be more easily entertained by some of these pieces, than a “Capital J” Jazz fan.
Try and prove me wrong.
#MattMitchell #PhalanxAmbassadors #MilesOkazaki #PatriciaBrennan #KimCass #KateGentile #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack