Thursday, January 19, 2023

Album Review: Heart of Ghost - Summons

Heart of Ghost 
*** out of *****

The improvisational Heart of Ghost's newest effort Summons is a kick in the teeth as the outfit rev up adventurous sounds and play them with passion and energy that at times borders on fury. 

Hailing from the Baltimore/D.C. area, the trio of Jarrett Gilgore - Alto/Soprano Saxophone, Ian McColm - Drums/Percussion, Luke Stewart - Bass, have all contributed to other projects, but synch up as Heart of Ghost to manically fuse sounds in what feels like chaotic bop on speed.  

The opening title track blows out of the gates chaotically with skronking horns while the bass and drum drive things propulsively forward. Midway through the horn drops out giving just bass and drums a spotlight so when the horn returns there is slightly more relaxed tooting building up the energy once again only to end on a cool vibe. 

"Aaron's Ride" is dedicated to Aaron Martin Jr., is the highlight of the album. The whole tune is more melodic than the frantic opener and first section is a complete master class from McColm on drums. Five minutes in the band settles into a smooth groove that could be a completely different track as the cool drips in each direction smoothly rolling for the final six minutes with effortless ease. 

The calamitous crashing resumes for "Specters" as the flurry of notes, cymbal crashes and bass bombs explode in overwhelming fashion before the album wraps up with the elongated "Communion". A Latin-Caribbean rhythm starts the twenty two minute offering as McColm and Stewart set the tone before Gilgore eases in, unlike the other three songs aggressive starts. Perhaps it is just comparison to the other tracks, but "Communion" takes a while to get really going. 

Things get freaky around nine minutes in as the off-kilter sounds percolate and slap about before a spatial emptiness resides around the fifteen minute mark. The cymbals and chimes wander and vibrate before kicking up and Gilgore's horn plays more sustained notes to close. While the weakest effort here, the full offering delivers some rich passages.    

The free jazz collective Heart of Ghost certainly let it all hang out on Summons, an exciting musical journey for adventure seekers in the sonic universe. 
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:


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