Joan Torres’ All is Fused – The Beginning
by Jack Sheehan on Wednesday January 28th, 2015
Fusion. It’s a genre that you’ve either never heard of or makes you sad because it doesn’t get the attention bullshit contemporary pop music does. Either way, compositions that fall under that label tend to have magical qualities in terms of timbre, rhythm, and song structure. It’s hard to get bored of such a tune when there’s no resolve. Some think this kind of music is dead and buried, while others say you ain’t heard nothing yet. I agree with the latter; a release like “The Beginning” by Joan Torres’s All is Fused is stalwart evidence.
Torres is the Bassist/composer of the ensemble. The man knows music. Melodic lines of absurdity shift round and round in unison between bass, alto sax, and piano and all of a sudden drop into space chord-y odd time signature Latin grooves as lead guitar steps in. He has referred to his music as “Jazz +”. I liken it to “Boricua Bebop”. The drummer swings away with sporadic hits with the piano’s tensioned harmonic bounces. The bass plugs away with impunity. A great bassist can hit any note and it’ll never be wrong; it is a trait earned with impeccable rhythm. It has the timbre of the semi hollow jazz guitar, but its movement in Scofield-like passages omits any of the snobby tone that usually repels listeners like me away.
The real triumph of the album is the composition. Every song is individual from itself. Yes there are central themes the band revisits, but chances are while listening through you will want to find the name of the song your hearing and the one before it, only to find that you are halfway through the song. Good fusion moves like so, part by part. Your head will twitch with joy as you follow the phrasing of instruments.
This album with your ear and your time because there is nothing run of the mill about it. If I could vaguely describe it’s sound using other artists, it’d be instrumental The Mars Volta plus Return to Forever without all the retro 70s synthy stuff. This music is both heady and cerebral (They mean different things, dude). Keep in mind this isn’t some 8 track from1975 in your loony uncle’s basement, this was released less than 6 months ago. It’s just “The Beginning.”
Source: Live for Live Music