CD review

Miguel Gorodi Nonet – Apophenia

Miguel Gorodi Nonet – Apophenia
(Ubuntu Music. UBU0021. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)

Trumpeter Miguel Gorodi has put together a biggish band of some of the most interesting musicians on the London jazz scene for this record of his own compositions. Using nine players has allowed him to extend the usual palette of sounds, creating music which is full of texture and depth, as illustrated by the inclusion of Ray Hearne‘s tuba.

Gorodi’s arrangements make the most of the musicians. Gareth Lockrane on flutes and Ralph Wyld on vibraphone stand out throughout, as does Connor Chaplin‘s bass. But then there are moments at which each musician excels, and ensemble sections which pack a punch, too.

The tension between different instruments and registers builds the excitement, released by the excellent solos throughout the record. The simple, repetitive nature of some of the riffs, such as the openings of both La Nausée and Search, may stem from Gorodi’s rumination on mental health and OCD in particular, but they also serve to wind up the spring, which strains to let go.

“Apophenia” is the process of seeing connections and meaning where, perhaps, none exists; the reviewers’ curse, perhaps! Gorodi’s Apophenia might wish us to infer meaning from his use of titles – such as La Nausée, named for Jean-Paul Sartre’s novel, Time Sigmund (Freud, presumably), and Amygdala (a part of the brain); but maybe he’s just playing with us: Not Nicest Memo, fizzes along exuberantly at a cracking pace, the nonet proving they can swing, too.

Patrick Hadfield lives in Edinburgh, occasionally takes photographs, and sometimes blogs at On the Beat. Twitter: @patrickhadfield.

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