Kali Z. Fasteau, featuring Kidd Jordan – Intuit (2016)

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Kali Z. Fasteau plays a wide array of instruments and has mastered a wide array of many music forms to match. Both sides of her diverse talent come together on another collection of instinctively conceived songs, aptly named Intuit, issued earlier this year.

Intuit can be considered a companion piece to her prior, 2014 release Piano Rapture, where her focus was on creating music spontaneously on the piano, an instrument she doesn’t always showcase but has no problem using it to advance her boundless concept of improvised music. Like Piano, the tracks recorded for Intuit, feature the (primarily) woodwind contributions of either Kidd Jordan or L. Mixashawn Rozie and were recorded either live or in the studio around the same time. On this occasion however, Fasteau is performing on just about everything but the piano.

Fasteau literally wrote the book on composing spontaneously more than forty years ago, but it always helps when your partners are also intuitively-minded and both Jordan and Rozie are not only old hands at improvised music, but have been doing this with Fasteau for a number of years.

Many of these pieces feature Fasteau on the drums. The fascinating thing about her drumming has little to do with timekeeping or acrobatics, but the bright tones and timbres she draws out of her kit. The rolling thunder and gallops lend so much character to “Winged Horses” as much as Rozie’s squalling sax (and Fasteau’s own howls). Delicate African rhythm patterns form a foil to Jordan’s tenor sax free phrases for “Spring In Your Step.” She plays more impulsively on “Steering Joy” opposite Rozie’s inside/outside tenor but maintains just the right tribal intonation out of her kit.

It’s not just the drums that Fasteau plays with a unique enunciation: her viola engages with Jordan’s sax on Jordan’s terms all over “Lineage,” making it appear that there are two, sometimes three horns enmeshed with each other. Elsewhere, she plays a watersonic that emits uncannily ethereal noises akin to a theramin (Celestial Trolleycar”) and a nai flute run through echo effects that emulate the sounds of creatures in a forest at night (“Moonlight Swim”).

“Soothe Sayer” might be the most peculiar song in a whole assemblage of peculiar songs: Fasteau’s altered voice creates an otherworldly harmonized chant while Rozie bashes away freely on a djembe.

With sounds that are haunting, impulsive and memorable, Kali Z. Fasteau knows how to make music like that in so many ways. She does it again on Intuit using everything but the kitchen sink…or a piano.


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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