If the reputation of bassist Miroslav Vitous is not a sufficiently strong selling point make his album Infinite Search a part of your Jazz music collection, then perhaps these four other band member names are: Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson and John McLaughlin.
Vitous, 21 years old at the time, had the task of leading these Jazz lions on his first album as a leader. With no pressure, I’m sure …
The benefit of 2016 hindsight makes me comfortably say that the album serves as an important contributing document to the period’s evolving electric jazz scene, given its recording on the heels of Vitous’ live gigs with Miles Davis and just before the former became a founding member of the revered Jazz Fusion ensemble Weather Report.
The set is predictably strong with moments of furious kineticism like in “Freedom Jazz Dance” — the only song on the album not written by Vitous — or the ethereally chill phrasing in the title track. Herbie Mann does excellent board work throughout. Aside from the beautiful sonic saturation these all-stars achieved without ever sounding muddled, I love how Vitous takes on an atypical leadership role for a bass player — exploring new lyrical spaces while engaging band mates for responses. You can never relegate this man to Pocket Keeper.
THE VISITOR (EP)
Kadhja Bonet’s The Visitor EP uses Soul music as a foundation to carry mystic Folk, Rock, Classical and subtle Hip Hop expressions. The juicy string arrangements and Bonet’s gentle vocals help to complete the set’s appeal to me.
Sure, I could’ve told you earlier that the EP is a Psychedelic Soul nod — be it by organic creation or otherwise — but I didn’t want you carelessly leaping to the wrong conclusion that Bonet is trapped in a 60s time vacuum. I’ll offer the beautifully bittersweet “Gramma Honey” as evidence that the artist creatively lives in the present.
“Honeycomb” has been making its rounds on music head podcasts for the past few months, and for good reason. The head-nodding beat is addictive and has the right amount of brooding to make me think “Future Wu-Tang sample!”
“Portrait of Tracy,” the 6th and closing track, left me asking for more. While I dream about a full-length Kadhja dose , I’m just as happy with the new single, “This Love,” released about two weeks ago …
REVISION NOTES: I originally wrote Kadhja Bonet’s The Visitor was “Produced by Itai Shapira,” and I was subsequently advised that the release is self-produced. Corrections were made to the post accordingly. Apologies to all …