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Joe Morris: Colorfield

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The representation of dark and light multicolored, rectilinear painted shapes envelops the cover of Colorfield from Joe Morris on ESP Disk. Analogously, the music from Morris on electric guitar, Steve Lantner on piano and Luther Gray on drums creates an equally diverse layering effect, as Morris takes care to describe in the liner notes.

The rise and fall of these layers among the three instrumentalists jettisons the music out of the flatness portrayed on the cover into an aural multi-dimensionality emanating from the recording. This multi-dimensionality pierces the musical field with irrefutable tensions that bring to light the sensibility which infuses Morris’ intent. A stark even-handedness is especially evident in the up-tempo “Transparent,” where Morris establishes himself directly as the melody-maker. No matter how long his melodies take to evolve within his method of fast-paced, nearly microtonal, picking of phrases that include slurred notes or half glissandos within defined tonal limits, the melodies consistently have Lantner and Gray providing familial underpinnings.

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