Title - 'This Is Not A Miracle' [ECM]
Artist - Food & Iain Ballamy & Thomas Strønen
The British/Norwegian Food duo of Iain Ballamy and Thomas Strønen are joined again by Austrian guitarist and electronics player Christian Fennesz for a new album of powerful grooves, evocative textures and exploratory improvisation, sometimes hypnotically insistent, sometimes turbulent.
I know, a bit of a descriptive mouthful, for sure, but one that suits This Is Not A Miracle rather perfectly, nonetheless. The project was recorded with engineer Ulf Holand and mixed together with Manfred Eicher and signals the first time Eicher and Holand have collaborated since Nils Petter Molvaer's Khmer, almost 20 years ago!
Thomas Strønen describes the sound of This Is Not A Miracle as heavier, dryer, connecting more with how they actually sound live. I couldn't agree more, for I have seen them live (and trust me, they are INCREDIBLE) and this new CD does actually bring those live nuances much more to the fore.
Recorded in June 2013, This Is Not A Miracle's 11 tracks, one and all conjure up a number of images as you listen to each composition. Sit back one rainy afternoon, close your eyes, and allow Ballamy's assured sax playing, complete with his usual smoky sound attached, to waft gently over you.
Certainly not for everyone, I'll give you that, and put that right out there, but if you like ethereal soundtracks or impressionistic jazz/music, give this a listen. I confess I'm not a fan of everything this group has issued in the past, but it has never stopped me paying to see them live - and this particular trio seems to bring something special to each of these compositions. Enjoy. I did! You will too.