This quartet of Morris on guitar, Luther Gray, drums, Katt Hernandez, violin and Junko Fujiwara Simons, cello, deliver a set of sustained imaginative and continuously inspired playing on six tunes which purport to relate concepts and ideas relating to principles of photography.
With titles like “Street Scene,” “Angle of Incidence,” and “Evocative Shadow,” the set aims to convey, as Morris puts it in his notes, the “attraction to the sense of time stopping and to the vagaries of tones in images that are of an ‘instant.’ ” The quartet aims to sustain parallels between the art of composition and improvisation and the art of photography, which also works in time and conveys colors, tones, and shapes.
The concept is an interesting programmatic one, and whether one buys the analogy or not, the music here is interesting, nonetheless, as art created by some imaginative and skilled players who lay down some richly textured and varied tracks, like the dripping-with-color of “Angle of incidence’ or the driving, yet subtle lines of “Person in a Place.”
The string trio formed by Morris’s guitar, Hernandez’s violin and Simons’ cello are a swirl of sound that functions like a dark room of ideas, stirred by Gray’s wash of cymbals and skins, flecks of light and shadow. Morris’s at times searching, at times groping but always soaring melodies keep the music happening, moving forward, anchored in time, evolving and serving up the kind of sensory experience the camera can’t ever deliver.
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