It took five years, but the wait was well worth it. Guitarist David
Gilmore releases Energies of Change (Evolutionary Music, 2015),
a philosophical as well as musical journey.
With Gilmore are Marcus Strickland, soprano, alto and tenor saxes, bass
clarinet; Luis Perdomo, piano; Ben Williams, bass; Antonio Sanchez,
drums; and special guest Kofo Wanda, talking drum on “Dance of Duality.”
The title song opens the set. It’s a moderately paced, easygoing piece.
Guitar and sax blend on the melody with each taking a turn on the lead.
Strickland overdubs, bringing in the bass clarinet for depth and
diversity. After a few passes, Strickland switches to the sax for a
passionate solo, with the rhythm trio turning up the heat in the
background. The group mellows some when it’s Gilmore’s turn to stretch
out. Still firmly locked in but softer. That mood remains when Perdomo
takes point. Williams and Sanchez are brilliant throughout. Intensity
returns when guitar and trade phrases during the frantic closing.
“Sacred Pause” has a walk-in-the-park feel to it. Strickland plays the
soprano here, again with guitar and sax harmonizing for the lead. Some
deft stick work by Sanchez highlights the accompaniment, especially
during the soprano solo. Williams comes through a little more during
Perdomo’s tour. All becomes subtle when Gilmore takes point. The guitar
is in an interpretive dance with the other instruments seemingly taking
turns as partners. The song reverts to the main theme momentarily. Then
with Gilmore and Strickland repeating a series of three-step phrases,
Sanchez gives the kit a workout, setting up the song’s end.
“Awakening” begins with a somewhat haunting sequence. Tight syncopation
and Perdomo’s rolling piano are among the highlights. After the
introduction, the song shifts to an upbeat groove, punctuated by
Williams’ bass line. Gilmore channels a bit of Montgomery and a bit of
Benson in his play. Sanchez mixes it up on the kit, using timely rolls
of the toms, snare strikes and cymbal crashes. Williams also gets to
stretch out, accompanied only by Sanchez and Gilmore. One can almost see
him snapping the strings as his hands move up and down the neck of his
Energies of Change was recorded in 2010, with additional
recording in 2012.
Part of the reason for delay is that after the first session, Gilmore
didn’t think he had enough songs for an album. The plan was to reconvene
at a later date, but the musicians’ schedules made that difficult.
Ultimately, they did complete the project.
Gilmore says the title refers to movement on both a personal and
universal level, “toward being more conscious and aware of one’s own
true nature.” The set of seven original songs and covers of compositions
by Wayne Shorter and Kenny Kirkland are Gilmore’s presentation of the
movement toward an understanding that the only thing constant is change.