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David Gilmore Ritualism (Kashka Music, 2000) Jazz guitarist David Gilmore has played with Wayne Shorter, Trilok Gurtu, Don Byron, Cassandra Wilson, and the brilliant M-Base saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman in his group Five Elements. Not to be confused with the English guitarist David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame, Gilmore stepped out for his first record as band leader and composer in 2000 with Ritualism, self-produced and self-released on the Kashka label. A quartet of guitar, piano/keyboards, acoustic bass, and drums forms the core musicians on Ritualism. Most of the tracks on the record are angular jazz in this quartet format, but guest musicians on trumpet, alto sax, tenor and soprano sax, and one track each with female vocals and male spoken word flesh out the rest of the tunes. This balance of more sparse instrumentation on some pieces and the full sounding horn section and the vocals on others provides sonic variety in Gilmore's songs and the one standard, the Monk tune "Off Minor." The vocal track "Confluence" features acoustic guitar and sounds markedly different from the rest of the snappy jazz. Although adept and emotive, the change in feel with this song may drive some listeners to skip ahead. In contrast, the artsy themed spoken word in "Musical Revolutions" fits right in with the supporting music in that tune and the feel of the rest of the record. As expected from a disciple of Steve Coleman and the M-Base school of rhythmically complex jazz composing, Gilmore's music moves effortlessly through shifty polyrhythms and syncopations, including the title track, "Paradigm Shift," and "Event Horizon." As soloists step out from the band, the remaining musicians keep twisting the rhythmic ideas in the background underneath the solos. In addition to hypnotic syncopations, most of the songs still retain a head-bobbing groove through melodic heads usually played on guitar or guitar doubled by piano. This marks skill in writing odd meters and syncopations, and only the sinister ostinato figure in the horn section in "Elementary" diverges into more a strident rhythmic feel that sticks out from the overall groove. Gilmore's dexterity in writing complex rhythms almost matches that of his former band leader Coleman, a master at layering polyrhythms in odd meters (the Steve Coleman and Five Elements record "The Tao of Mad Phat," with Gilmore, Gene Lake, and Andy Milne among others, is one of the best records in the history of the universe). Many of Gilmore's grooves flow even more smoothly than much of Coleman's polyrhythmic workouts, challenging the listener to follow the accessible melodies over sinuously intertwining rhythms. According to an April 2002 update on his website at www.dgilmore.com, Gilmore's second solo record is due late in 2002. Fans of rhythmically complex jazz, especially those who enjoy the work of other M-Base musicians like Steve Coleman and Gary Thomas, should definitely check out Ritualism as they wait for Gilmore's second solo CD. Reviewed by Scott Andrews [firstname.lastname@example.org] More Info:
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