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Harriet Tubman: Ascension

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For this special edition of Harriet Tubman, the regular longstanding power trio of bassist Melvin Gibbs, guitarist Brandon Ross and drummer JT Lewis is augmented by trumpeter Ron Miles (a member of Bill Frisell’s quintet) and turntablists DJ Logic and DJ Singe. Together they turn in a scintillating, white-hot cauldron of slamming funk-rock, audacious skronking and ambient textures, with Miles’ plaintive trumpet, Ross’ searing, distortion-laced guitar lines and the DJs’ wildly creative impulses flying over the dense mix with subversive impunity.

Drawing inspiration from John Coltrane’s Ascension, these sonic warriors dive headlong into the deep waters of electronic improvisation with strictly a “no wrong notes” mentality. Gibbs showcases his mighty electric bass chops on the lyrical “Night Master/Ascension” and on the raucous “Widely Known,” while under-the-radar guitar slinger Ross unleashes with rock-tinged abandon on “Sideral Flux” and “Ritual Rubbin.”

Bubbling Mu-tron-inflected bass, backwards guitar lines, inventive loops, subharmonic tones and subversive little ear cookies prevail on this edgy amalgam of post-Bitches Brew fusion and dream-like electronica.

Originally Published