Daniel Carter, Stelios Mihas, Irma Nejando, Federico Ughi - Radical Invisibility - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Daniel Carter, Stelios Mihas, Irma Nejando, Federico Ughi - Radical Invisibility

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2019-07-26
Daniel Carter, Stelios Mihas, Irma Nejando, Federico Ughi - Radical Invisibility
Daniel Carter, Stelios Mihas, Irma Nejando, Federico Ughi - Radical Invisibility

Legendary Jazz multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter - who has played with William Parker, Thurston Moore and Yo La Tengo, amongst others - has put together a new group with Stelios Mihas (Guitar), Irma Nejando (Bass) and Federico Ughi (Drums). Carter himself plays Saxophones, Trumpet, Clarinet, Flute and Keyboards. The four tracks were recorded in New York in January 2018. Radical Invisibility is ‘dedicated to the invisible world. Some people operate invisibly by choice, some are invisible because of the nature of events in their life, some remain invisible and unknown against their will.’

The first track, Ms. Gertrude, is a tribute to Gertrude Stein. It starts with electronic sounds before the band come in. Nejando’s playing is particularly earth-shattering on what is a quiet, short piece. Carter moves to sax, Mihas adds stabs of guitar and Ughi crashes lightly around his kit. It’s a neat piece of Avant-Garde Jazz. Diaspora Guninea is a longer piece and is dedicated to a friend of Ughi’s who drowned when trying to cross from Africa to Europe in a handmade boat. Carter and Nejando trade lines while Mihas provides sound effects on guitar. It lands somewhere between Free Jazz and King Crimson (obviously there’s a huge mid-section in that particular Venn Diagram). Mihas’s playing is particularly interesting on this track, combining sound effects, chords, little Jazzy runs and full on solos, he flitters around the track like a moth. The one constant as the band go through periods of exploration and more cohesive 4/4 sections is the absolutely huge bass sound. The track concludes after 14 minutes with some dramatic interplay between guitar and sax. weNyamombe and Gomukomu weSimbi, which refers to two composer-poets from Mozambique, starts with light drumming and a continuation of the previous track’s interplay between Carter and Mihas. Ughi lays down a steady beat, whilst Nejando wanders around the neck of her bass. It is the range of the players that impresses most here – the drums can lead or root, as can the bass; Carter and Mihas employ a huge array of styles and sounds. To illustrate this, Carter plays a lovely flute solo halfway through which Mihas backs with ambient guitar noise. Shortly after this the song evolves in mid-70s Miles Davis Skronk-Funk as Mihas gets his wah-wah out. After 20 minutes the track finishes quietly with Carter on spacey Sun Ra keyboards and mournful sax. The album finishes, as it started, with a short portrait of a talent that Carter wants to bring to our attention – this time it is Bessie Smith. The track has a leisurely pace with nice sounds coming from sax and guitar, even the bass is more subdued. Carter and Mihas turn the volume up a bit towards the end as they trade snippets of solos.

Radical Invisibility is a tribute to and a high-lighting of lives, cultures and artists that the band feel deserve our attention. The album itself is as much a testament to the skill, range and taste of the players as it is to the people that they are celebrating. And all wrapped up in some awesome ECM-like artwork.

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