Transparent Heart (RareNoise; 2012)
Bob Belden (saxophone, flute)
Jacob Smith (bass)
Matt Young (drums)
Peter Clagett (trumpet)
Roberto Verastegui (keyboards)
Another stellar outing from Bob Belden and his exciting collective, Animation. While the groups groundwork may be laid in Miles Davis' fusion era material, Belden continues to make this ensemble sound like more like an on ramp to the future as oppose to a bridge between past and present.
The groups latest, Transparent Heart is an urban soundscape, with a lyrical structure that exemplifies the city which gives the group so much inspiration, New York. "Urbanoia" and "Transparent Heart" both are crisp, sharp takes on the cities inhabitants with all its hustle and bustle. Crashing drums, drifting hypnotic tones from Belden and Clagett shape the mood of both pieces. Verastegui's Hancock-meets-Corea keys draw an ocean current for the band ripple across. Dark and pulsating but with a real angular beauty.
"Provocatism" leds off some funky bass work from Smith which is soon met with battle lines from Young and Belden, placing a beautiful scripture to journey across various avenues of the city. "Occupy" refers to the semi-global movement that took over New York in which many were finally fed up with the status quo and decided that the people must speak. The piece gentle but conveys a lyrical voice that screams and demands your attention.
Transparent Heart again shows the compositional excellence of Bob Belden. But also the exquisite musicianship of Animation the group and their continued vigilance to making music with purpose and direction. Highly Recommended.