A couple of this set's peaks are the vocal tracks: On the traditional gospel of "Gilead," Bowman's booming, Paul Robeson-like voice ranges as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon as it battles with and against apocalyptic turntable samples. A take on Hank Williams Sr.'s "Ramblin' Blues" postulates the common ground between high-lonesome trad country and hip-hop. "Sleeptalking" -- featuring Medeski, Martin and DJ Olive -- takes the Phantom of the Opera to Brazil for some R&R. And "Bougarabou" indulges in chilling (in all senses of the word) ambient techno. In fact, the only piece that doesn't really work here is the lugubrious "Marty," wherein "out" saxophone playing and electro-beats mix like oil and water. All the same, listeners taken with Spring Heel Jack's recent works with the avant-garde jazz posse (as well as those seeking warmer, more "organic" elements in their electronica) will likely be groovin' high with these Sessions.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.