MORE THAN ANYTHING
You hear the intensity of the initial impetus: these nine compositions all relate to the love, loss and grief felt by the trombonist and composer Jon Hatamiya across nine years while supporting his mother as cancer sapped away her life. Even the unusual instrumentation plays its part, specifically having two electric guitars in a band otherwise containing trombone, alto saxophone, piano, bass and drums. These guitars provide an orchestral density and range of colours, while also sharpening the music to an angry sonic edge when required.
Yet at heart the album is far from doom-laden, but rather a constant dialogue between intensity and gentleness. Hatamiya has a generous sound, and such an array of melodic ideas and technical approaches as make the trombone seem a natural bedfellow with two howling guitars. Like several albums on Dan Rosenboom’s wonderful LA-based Orenda label, this is not jazz-rock in any hackneyed sense, but rather music in which Hatamiya and his band studs their jazz-making with interludes that exploit a rock aesthetic. A highlight is drummer Colin McDaniel’s wicked groove on The Little Island, one of three “Dreamscapes” around which the album pivots.