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Country : Label : Genres and styles : Avant-Garde / Contemporary Jazz / Jazz Year : 2020
Tyshawn Sorey

Unfiltered

· by Michel Rondeau

Mr. Sorey, it seems, is not very fond of titles, apart from those he gives to his albums. After Pillars and Invisible Ritual, Unfiltered is indeed the third in a row whose songs only bear the digits of their order of appearance for titles. But hey, it’s a detail, the important thing is the music. And what music!

If we review the jazz recordings in his name, Unfiltered is his first leading a sextet, following a few trio albums. He is surrounded by five hand-picked young musicians. Sorey favours long songs, and it’s the case here again. Three pieces that follow one another in an uninterrupted way and are more than two hours long in all, maintaining a tension throughout, a bit like a feature film, and all along the cohesion of the group is amazing.

Although this is relatively classical contemporary jazz, where themes and solos follow one another, there are compositional “events” that constantly occur, and creative ideas that are brought in and maintain the listener’s interest across the two hours. If the band is often on fire – with the urgency rising as things progress, the level of intensity is sometimes staggering, especially in the third part, and maintained for long periods of time – it’s in no small parts because Sorey weaves tight and fast on drums, keeping his musicians constantly on the alert.

Just as certain wines are carefully filtered by their makers in order to keep their organoleptic qualities at the max, Unfiltered has a lot of body, brilliance and tannins, and it’s a real mouthful. Cheers!

N. B.: In terms of distribution, Sorey makes even less compromises than his colleague Peter Evans. On the Bandcamp page of the album, there isn’t even a free-listening excerpt, and the recording can’t be found on any streaming platform. For more infos, click HERE.

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