John Moulder

Bifrost

origin 82546



MUSIC REVIEW BY David Franklin, Cadence

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The cool, soundscape beginning of the album belies what's to follow, because by its end, the strident mix of blaring, howling, and crashing instruments generates a climax of powerful intensity. Between those extremes are many other moments of peaceful serenity contrasted with intense passion. John Moulder switches between his acoustic and electric guitars to produce each desired effect, from gentle lyricism to Rock-like screeches, and he's supported by Paul Wertico's varied percussive arsenal and Brian Peters' synthesizers. Moulder composed all the pieces, none of which is a conventional tune. Rather, their harmonies are typically slow-moving and their meters can be unorthodox, with measures sometimes containing an unusual number of beats. Indeed, the metric configurations can lead to complex melodic/rhythmic lines that require a high level of competence to negotiate. Fortunately, these players are all top-caliber and cut the charts seemingly without breaking a sweat. Moulder himself possesses a formidable technique and brims with unhackneyed ideas. Norwegian tenorist Bendik Hofseth is a monster player in the Michael Brecker mode (he replaced Brecker in the group Steps Ahead). And Paul Wertico developed stellar chops as Pat Metheny's drummer for many years. The closing "Time Being," at over 15 minutes in length, allows the soloists to stretch out and they all make the most of it. Fresh, fascinating music.








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