Thursday, August 27, 2015

Percival Roman: Spiritual Frequencies (2015)

Percival Roman: Spiritual Frequencies
The Raleigh, North Carolina based drummer Percival Roman has a proclivity for his free jazz counterparts, some of whom occupy the front cover design of Romans's album Spiritual Frequencies. Roman, who also records under his given name, T.J. Goode, took his inspiration from disparate sources. Influenced by the hip hop album Midnight Marauders from A Tribe Called Quest (Jive Records, 1993) and a 2013 British science fiction film called Frequencies, Roman has produced a freewheeling translation of mystical events to music.

Roman began drumming as a youngster but largely gave up music for fifteen years before reconnecting with a local group—Black Fusion—in 2009. He later played in other area groups such as Daughter Element and The Empty Sound. Roman is joined on Spiritual Frequencies by bassist Matthew Golombisky on one of the seven tracks and another bassist, Christopher Thurston, on two tracks. Guitarists Brian Sulzipio and Kahlil Goode and French vocalist Clotilde Rullad appear on individual pieces while Roman contributes two solo efforts.

Spiritual Frequencies opens with "You May Begin" where Golombisky's rapidly strums the double bass and Roman skitters away on the drum kit, both players rising and falling in intensity until the piece turns almost minimal. The appropriately named "It's Just an Experiment" features Roman with a toy bell on the snare and mallets that invoke the deep rumbling of a calm before the storm. "Nicala Tesla Hernds" is altogether different with Rullad's vocals—including some that are wordless, some spoken—complexly layered in and Thurston now on bass. While Roman improvises, the many moving parts seem to organically come together.

In another digression, "Albert Einstein Cold," Roman does double-duty on sampling while Sulzipio's guitar adds a bluesy feel on a track that is more structured but not without dissonance. "Words Constantly Change" reunites Roman and former band mate Thurston whose bottomless but uplifting bass dominates the piece. "Kuri Forti," another drums/samples composition leads to "Lilhak" which features Roman's nephew, guitarist Kahlil Goode on a spacey and slightly bluesy improvisation that closes the album.

Spiritual Frequencies is packed with spontaneous creativity that manifests itself all manner of invention. Roman's background encompasses multiple genres and he uses that experience in the refined treatment of time and space, configuration and deconstruction. For the most part, this is good, honest, point of inception music and well worth a listen.

Track Listing: You May Begin; It's Just an Experiment; Nicala Tesla Hernds; Albert Einstein Cold; Words Constantly Change; Kuri Forti; Lilhak.

Personnel: Percival Roman: drums, samples; Matthew Golombisky: double bass (1); Christopher Thurston: bass (3, 5); Kahlil Goode: guitar (7); Clotilde Rullad: vocals (3); Brian Sulzipio: guitar (4).

Record Label: Self Produced

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