David Gilmore | Energies of Change

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Energies of Change

by David Gilmore

Critically acclaimed Jazz Guitarist/Composer David Gilmore's 4th CD release, "Energies of Change", featuring Marcus Strickland, Luis Perdomo, Ben Williams, Antonio Sanchez and Kofo Wanda.
Genre: Jazz: Progressive Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Energies of Change
8:11 $0.99
2. Rajas Guna
7:40 $0.99
3. Dance of Duality
7:23 $0.99
4. The Seeker
5:49 $0.99
5. Sacred Pause
6:02 $0.99
6. Over Shadow Hill Way
6:53 $0.99
7. Awakening
7:49 $0.99
8. Revelations
7:20 $0.99
9. Trick of I
6:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Guitarist/Composer David Gilmore to release new recording “Energies of Change” on November 3rd, 2015.
All-star lineup includes Marcus Strickland, Luis Perdomo, Ben Williams, Antonio Sanchez, and Kofo Wanda.

David Gilmore often chooses the titles of his albums before he’s even recorded a note, and Energies of Change, the guitarist, composer and bandleader’s new release (Evolutionary Music, October 27, 2015), is no exception. Yet one listen is all it takes to realize that Gilmore must have been channeling a very special energy indeed when that title came to him—it’s the perfect fit!
“Energies of Change basically refers to that movement, on both a personal and universal level (which in essence is inseparable and one and the same), toward being more conscious and aware of one’s own true nature,” he says. “There is a substrate to all of what we perceive as the material world, and an awareness that permeates all existence, yet its true nature appears to be hidden from many, perhaps most of us.”
The exhilarating set of seven original compositions and two interpretations—classic pieces written by Wayne Shorter and the late pianist Kenny Kirkland—“is an offering to the movement toward seeing beyond what we too quickly assume is real and fixed, when in fact we live in a universe where the only thing constant is change,” says Gilmore. “The most important question that humanity can ask itself is, ‘What is it that never changes and is always present?’”
For Gilmore, change is the very essence not just of jazz, but of something much greater. “I like to think that an art form that is a reflection of what life is—unpredictable, spontaneous, open, communicative—must in some way bring more awareness into humanity, and hopefully raise the level of consciousness on the planet to bring about change in a more positive direction,” he says. “Musical improvisation, when it’s sincere, open and honest, is a powerful transformative energy that permeates through to all who are open to listening to it, perhaps even to those who initially aren’t open to listening to it.”
Apropos to the constant evolution that characterizes a true artist, Gilmore’s composing process varies from project to project, and even from song to song. “My previous CD, Numerology, was a suite of music that centered on the esoteric study of numbers,” he says. “Energies of Change is more of a collection of songs that I feel reflect the meaning behind the title of the CD. Most of the originals I wrote before having a title or theme in mind. The musical ideas usually come first, and then I compile a collection of songs and later choose the ones that fit in with the overall theme of the CD.”
Self-produced by Gilmore, Energies of Change features four of the most consistently innovative players in contemporary jazz assisting the critically acclaimed guitarist in realizing the music: Marcus Strickland on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones and bass clarinet; pianist Luis Perdomo; bassist Ben Williams; and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Kofo Wanda contributes talking drum to one highlight track, “Dance of Duality.”
The genesis of the project actually goes back five years. “Back in 2010, I had the idea to put this particular group together, and subsequently booked a gig at the Jazz Gallery in New York City,” Gilmore says. “With the exception of Antonio, I had played with all of them either in my group or with others in the past. I had known Antonio personally for several years, and was always looking for the right situation to eventually call him. The gig went so well that I decided to bring the band into the studio about a year or so later. We recorded at the now defunct Bennett Studios in Englewood, New Jersey, over a period of two days. The guys, particularly Antonio, offered invaluable ideas on the arrangements of some of the tunes, and we typically did three or four takes of each tune, trying out different versions, until we felt it was right. I didn't quite have a full CD’s worth of material prepared for those two days, but I had the time booked, so it afforded us time to really work on what we had, which was great. The original idea was to come back into the studio not too long after, when I had a couple of more tunes ready, but with everyone's schedules being what they were, that didn't happen until almost two years later! Unfortunately, at that point, Bennett Studios had closed its doors permanently, and we had to do the session elsewhere, which ended up being a bit of a challenge sonically, in terms of getting a consistent sound on the CD overall. But sonically, as well as musically, I am very happy with the results.”
As well he should be. From the title track, which opens the program, to the closing “Trick of I,” Energies of Change traverses a dizzying and divine plethora of moods, textures, tempos and styles. Virtuosity permeates, but the album is not about that—it’s an intimate conversation, reflecting the leader’s deep thoughts and spiritual longing. Among its highlights is “The Seeker,” which, Gilmore says, “refers to that restless and insatiable momentum that many of us don’t even recognize—looking outward for meaning and depth to our lives, when the mystics and sages remind us that it is the inward journey we must take, to find what we are looking for.” The reflective “Awakening” captures the “intuitive feeling and sense of knowing that all beings come to at some point, when their sense of reality is turned upside-down, and a paradigm shift begins to occur, and there is no turning back to the old way of thinking and perceiving.” And the title of the album’s second track, “Rajas Guna,” which Gilmore describes as a “burner,” has its origin in Hindu philosophy. All of Gilmore’s other original compositions, as well as the reimagined Shorter and Kirkland tunes (“Over Shadow Hill Way” and “Revelations,” respectively), are components of a larger vision that is explored throughout the course of the album.
For David Gilmore, Energies of Change is, in itself, “a bit of a departure.” Some of the tunes have “a very traditional, straight-ahead type of feel, which surprised me,” he says, “because that’s not normally what I write. But, in the spirit of going with the flow of what comes forth, I chose to give them a try. Rhythm always plays a big part in my music, and I feel that all the tunes tend to complement each other. Some may be complex from a technical standpoint, but I strive to write music that doesn't necessarily sound like that to the everyday non-musician listener, and I think I achieved that on this recording. I am pushing beyond my usual comfort zone with Energies of Change, but I feel this is the direction I am being shown at this point in my life.”



to write a review

inner exile

More like the sum of previous albums (4.3 stars)
than a step in a new direction. The American jazz guitarist/composer's (no to be confused with the Pink Floyd guy of similar name) present, fourth CD, which was recorded in December 2010 and November 2012, recruits a strong line-up: the Venezuelan expat pianist Luis Perdomo can be familiar from "Numerology" (2010, EvolutionaryMusic), Marcus Strickland contributes on soprano (#3-6, 8), tenor (#2, 7, 9), alto saxes and bass clarinet (#1), Antonio Sanchez provides his trademark dynamic wide sweep and additional embellishment (#5-6) on drums, while Ben Williams anchors the proceedings on upright acoustic bass (integrated solo #7-8).
The set opens with the fresh title track featuring expansive guitar-saxophone unison, Gilmore's fluid single note lines followed by energetic piano take. As can be deduced from its title, #2 'rajas guna' (Hindu concept of the human quality/proclivity for passion/desire/greed) is an Indian influenced frantic romp with powerful rhythmic drive and blistering guitar elaboration with mild distortion. #3 ’dance of duality', just like the concluding song #9 'trick of I' is sporting (West?) African beats and repetitive melody for a start.

The elusive, changeable #4 'the seeker' builds on looser structures, whereas the waltzy jazz tune #5 'sacred pause' and #7 'awakening' work in a more traditional vein: the former exhibits shifts in emphasis, while the later starts off in a dreamy mood seguing into mid-tempo swing for the improvisational segment, including fine guitar phrasing and some stylish piano.
Two covers have also made it to the album: one is Wayne Shorter agitated #6 'over shadow hill way' with an experimental middle section, the other (#8 'revelations') is a serene reverie from 1991, composed by the late pianist Kenny Kirkland, having wistful soprano sax and intricate solo on steel-string acoustic guitar. Total time: 63.23 min.

I'm looking forward to the release of Gilmore's power trio dubbed "Art of Ascension", with contributions from Matt Garrison and Gene Lake.

(This review is based on the disc version.)