Last March, Irreversible Entanglements released their second album, the solid Who Sent You?, an incandescent jazz opus whose revolutionary tone impressed widely. Aquiles Navarro and Tcheser Holmes are the trumpeter and drummer, respectively, of the band, with poet Camae Ayewa, better known as Moor Mother, at the forefront. The pair’s new duo album, Heritage of the Invisible II, follows a first offering recorded before a live audience in Panama and released in 2014, one year before the creation of Irreversible Entanglements.
We might have expected Navarro and Holmes to deliver a collection of improvised duets made according to the rules of the art, but from the very first bars of “Initial Meditation”, the opening track, we realise that the pair have no use for tradition. Abrasive electronic interventions and vocal samples in Spanish punctuate a demented drum solo. Throughout the album, Navarro uses his trumpet as much as he does Moog Grandmother and Roland Juno 106 synthesizers, while the indomitable Holmes unleashes furious rhythmic storms. After the Latin flavours brought by Ricardo de León’s mejoranera (a Panamanian guitar) on “Pueblo,” the smooth voice of singer Brigitte Zozula provides an interesting contrast to the virtuoso explosions of the percussionist. Next, “M.O.N.K. (Most Only Never Knew)”, a bluesy piano solo performed by keyboardist Nick Sanders, offers us a haven of serenity for a few minutes before the duo returns to unleash “NAVARROHOLMES”, a free-jazz tornado to the sound of which Navarro blows all the horns of Jericho while Holmes, armed with his drums, knocks down city walls. Then the hostilities come to an astonishing end with a remix by Madam Data, taking the music of the tandem onto the dancefloor to celebrate victory.
With this album, Aquiles Navarro and Tcheser Holmes launch a call to arms as powerful as the music they create in Irreversible Entanglements.