Award-winning bassist Jon Torres presents an All Is Fused jazz production called Of The Musical. Why we need to have a billing on the album like the theatre productions of old, I’ve no idea, but all the same, this scattered, rough-housing, experimental bit of jazz certainly has the ability to get one…well…jazzed.
As one may have sussed out, All Is Fused is the brain child of one Joan Torres. Of The Musical is their third album of innovative, intense, and inspiring jazz. There is an awesome (in the true sense of the word) melange of both modern and latin styles in this production of a now relatively underground genre. Yes, there are still jazz bars, and awards for the genre, but it cannot be argued that the so-called ‘Indie’ scene (which is now a reference to a genre instead of independent production) has managed to rule the roost for years now.
There are some clear reasons for this though: the spacey, ambient, and relatively calming effect of most ‘Indie’ music does speak to a certain formula, and leaves audiences relatively comatose. It has almost become an entire genre based on the apathetic; doing nothing to push the boundaries of one’s thoughts or feelings, ultimately.
Now say what you want about jazz, (in whatever form you choose to take it on), but at least there is always a conversation, even if you can’t understand it. And perhaps that’s what people are afraid of when tackling something as daunting as the seemingly nonsensical modern world of jazz. I’ll be completely honest, I recognize a musical conversation (and this one is after all Of The Musical), but I think I fall short of being able to translate this one.
Famous jazz musician, Julius Meléndez, had this to say of the album: “This album celebrates the future of our new generation of urban, multi-talented musicians whose conversation is clear and to the point, while getting a fresh dose of a united sound.” I hear the united sound, I celebrate the future of these incredibly talented musicians; the conversation sounds to the point, but I fail to find it a clear one.
There is plenty to be conveyed in an instrumental album, and if I were to catalogue, and decode the myriad messages I think to understand being portrayed over the course of this album, I would have a very long article indeed. Now perhaps that is the case. Perhaps I am understanding, simply in the feeling I get while listening to this music, but so varied seem to be the messages, that I struggle to call the album a clear conversation.
And there is a difference between clearly understanding, and clear-cut. I’m not sure that, based on the title, I clearly understand ‘Ultramarine‘, but it is probably the most clear-cut track on the album. Perhaps followed closely by the wonderful connection between ‘Constant Stream‘, and ‘Stream Of Meancholy‘ (which is pretty on the nose as a conversation piece – and beautifully heart-breaking to boot).
Perhaps the album is more clear-cut than I’d like to think. They certainly have ‘Invaded‘ the ears of every listener (as well as the genre). This ‘Demiurge‘ does seem to have created a world, or is at least manipulating it in the material world. They positively ‘Explore‘ music in an engaging way. They certainly have a ‘Look Around‘ at the world, and they are definitively ‘Unleashed‘…so my hat off to them; I understood more of the conversation than even I thought I had, so clever is the composition of this album.