Following on from that Henry Kaiser project earlier this year, bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten is back with another super-group of jazz musicians. Called The Young Mothers, the outfit is set to unleash the corrosive Morose on Self Sabotage Records on Friday. The album features music that blurs the lines between many genres, the players here positively on fire throughout.
"Attica Black" is a free jazz-attack, corrosive horns and pummeling drums carrying things into the stratosphere, while the more insinuating "Black Tar Caviar" works its magic through a slightly more traditional approach. The musicians here -- Jawwaad Taylor (vocals), Jonathan F. Horne (guitars), Jason Jackson (sax), Stefen Gonzalez (drums, percussion), Francisco Rosaly (drums), and the previously-mentioned Flaten (bass) -- dive into this material with a fury that is astonishing in spots, like on the near-industrial tones of "Jazz Oppression", one of the more concise numbers on Morose. Elsewhere, "Osaka" swings like an old hard bop number from the Sixties, while "Shanghai" alternates lush instrumental passages with Taylor's rap verses, the effect a hypnotic one. So much of Morose sees a similar bridging of genres that it's nearly unfair to call this a jazz record, though I suppose it is. The Young Mothers play with the kind of precision and sense of liberation one can hear in recordings from the fusion pioneers of earlier decades, even as parts of this are as loud and unforgiving as anything from the post-punk years.
That rare sort of release that defies easy categorization, and which demands a listener's full attention, Morose is both blistering and blissful. As such, it stands as one of the bravest releases of 2018 and the year's not even half over.
Morose is out on Friday via Self Sabotage Records.
[Photo: Uncredited promo pic from label]