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October 1999

James Emery Septet
Spectral Domains

Three decades of picking obliques with Leroy Jenkins, Anthony Braxton and bending Monk-bebop-blues notes with the String Trio Of New York have evolved acoustic guitarist James Emery into a formidable improviser/composer/arranger with a particularly unique chordal-melodic-harmonicsix-string flow.

On the new Spectral Domains, Emery takes his jazz cipher to the next level via the instrumental color-expanding construct of the septet. Anchored-pushed-pulled-lifted by the spirit-cosmic-yin/yang fission set off by demigod freestylers like Marty Ehrlich, Chris Speed (flute, alto/soprano sax; tenor sax/clarinet, respectively) and Mark Feldman (violin), Emery serves up 10 emotionally-nuanced/harmonically-complex tracks.

Whether exalting in the Django/Grappelli-haunted abstract bop of "Red Spaces in a Blue Field Pt.2", "Trinkle Tinkle"'s Monk-Bird-Roach-Pettiford-52nd St.-wildest-dream-jam-fantasyor"Strings of Thread"'s intoxicating flamenco-tango vapors, Spectral Domains is never less than compelling. James Emery is special.

Originally published in October 1999
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