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Koan

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Koan album cover
01
Awakening
12:46  
02
Only One Sky
2:32
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03
Correct Truth
7:58
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04
Nocturnal
15:16  
05
Two Guitars
9:20
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06
Embed
12:57  
Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 6   Total Length: 60:49

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Stillness

thirdpol

As I wrote elsewhere, this is a very still, slow album, with repeated phrases over subtle and pulsing work on the drums. It is reminiscent of Morton Feldman (whose work is well represented here on eMusic), and this is a surprising influence on avant-garde jazz. Check out That/Not, Sorey's earlier album which has a very long piano piece full of silences and suspended chords. Sorey is exploring interesting areas. Well worth a listen. On repeated hearings I think this is one of the loveliest things I've heard in the last couple of years.

eMusic Features

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2011 Jazz: Echoing the ’70s, in a Good Way

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

It says something about the timeless state of modern jazz that one of 2011's memorable releases, saxophonist/composer Tim Berne's Insomnia, was recorded in 1997. Nothing about the music sounds dated: not his curvy, harmonized melodies, the ways they jostle the spirited improvising, the lushness of an octet with a built-in chamber trio (violin, cello, bass), or the sure pacing of long suite-like sets. His concept was fully developed, then as now. (ECM's putting out a… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Drummer Tyshawn Sorey is a very interesting young player. In only a few years, he’s made a substantial impact on the East Coast scene, playing with saxophonists Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, and Steve Lehman, trumpeters Wadada Leo Smith and Dave Douglas, pianist Vijay Iyer, and many others. As that list of collaborators and employers should imply, Sorey is a cerebral and introspective player whose work frequently eschews traditional swing for a more fractured, impressionistic approach to rhythm and the role of percussion in jazz. And when he’s working as a leader, his work sometimes has almost nothing to do with jazz, as this album proves. Koan is performed using guitar, bass, and drums, and the six pieces, three of which are more than ten minutes each, occupy a space somewhere between Bill Frisell and Morton Feldman, with a few hints of recent recordings by Earth thrown in. The guitar and bass ring out, single notes and gently struck chords hanging in the air like coils of smoke as Sorey uses the drum kit as a third melodic device, only rarely attempting to drive the other two players in one direction or another. The music’s slow motion twists and turns occasionally recall European improv, but just as frequently hint at chamber music. This is a very beautiful album that seems to open up a little more each time it’s played. – Phil Freeman

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