Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Nicole Mitchell : Awakening

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Nicole Mitchell’s emergence as the jazz flutist of the moment-and Jeff Parker’s continuing ascension as one of improvisational music’s great young guitarists-is only furthered by their work together on Awakening. Featuring bassist Harrison Bankhead (Mitchell’s Indigo Trio partner) and drummer Avreeayl Ra, it’s an album of bold, earthy-to-ethereal mood shifts delivered with consummate ease.

As good as her broadly thematic long-form works with her larger Black Earth Ensemble are, they tend to hem in Mitchell the soloist. Here, floating freely in space, she gets to show off her full-toned intensity in all its shapes and textures, making sharp but sparing use of dark trills, slurred long notes and vocal effects. (On the steadily changing “Turning on a Thread,” her wordless intonations suggest the Donald Byrd choirs of the early ’60s.)

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published