Half Notes: Surface To Air – Surface To Air (2012)

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Photo source: Surface To Air’s Facebook page

The most obvious branding of the acoustic trio Surface To Air’s music is “world fusion” but it’s not really a “-jazz” kind of fusion, but rather a mélange of the East Indian/new age/folk variety. Think of a more elemental variation of the seminal band of this arena in music, Oregon. Acoustic guitarist Jonathan Goldberger (Todd Sickfoose’ Tiny Transistors), upright bass player Jonti Siman (Sacha Silva Ensemble) and tabla player/percussionist Rohin Khemani (A Big Yes And a Small No) form this small combo, combining to make group music in a literal sense; there’s little soloing individually as everyone contributes equally. For their upcoming selft-titled debut album, Surface To Air uses time and space well to create distinct moods, quiet drama that moves from one imaginary scene to another of a serious, low action movie. “Blood Simple” is a song from the Coen Brothers movie of the same name, underscoring their affection for film music. Sigur Ros is also appreciated, via Surface To air’s cover of “Heysátan.” The high point comes with “The Sleep In Your Eyes,” which is ruminative like the rest of the songs, but this group improvisation traverses a wider range of temperaments.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Surface To Air goes on sale June 19, by NCM Records. Visit Surface To Air’s website for more info.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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