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Monday, June 03, 2019

CD Review: Andrew McCormack - Graviton: The Calling


(Review by Russell)

Andrew McCormack's Graviton has been in the studio to record a second album. The Calling on the prolific Ubuntu label features ten of the bandleader's compositions interpreted by voice (Noemi Nuti), tenor sax (rising star Josh Arcoleo), electric bass (one of two, Tom Herbert and Robin Mullarkey) and drums (Joshua Blackmore). 

A running time of close on forty-nine minutes, The Calling takes the listener on a journey, a journey McCormack likens to that of the classic hero's urge to explore knowing catastrophic consequences await. The narrative arc is McCormack's creation, would it be apparent to the listener/reviewer without explanatory notes? The first track - Uroboros* - opens with portentous gong-like tones decorated by the pianist's light-of-touch probings. And so the journey begins. 

Magic MentorThe King is BlindBelly of the Whale - a musical journey traversing a landscape inhabited by kings and dragons is largely confined to the foothills of McCormack's imagined kingdom with occasional assaults on the highest peaks. Tenor saxophonist Josh Arcoleo strikes out on Crossing the Threshold in an attempt to reach the summit accompanied by the soaring vocals of Noemi Nuti with bassist Mullarkey maintaining a presence at base camp. 

Uroboros is (thanks to an internet search engine) of Greek origin - a circular symbol representing a serpent eating its tail.            
Russell.
Andrew McCormack's Graviton: The Calling is released on Friday (June 7) on Ubuntu Music (UBU0025). There is an album launch gig at London's Vortex (June 13) with further tour dates during the summer. 

Andrew McCormack (piano); Noemi Nuti (vocals); Josh Arcoleo (tenor sax); Tom Herbert (electric bass); Robin Mullarkey (electric bass); Joshua Blackmore (drums)

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