Sale!

CD Download Bundle

$71.94 $49.99

Reviews

  1. Author Picture

    A longtime member of ex-Pat Metheny Group drummer Paul Wertico's trio, enough has already been written about John Moulder's double life as jazz guitarist and ordained priest. Bifröst is Moulder's follow-up to the ambitious and eclectic Trinity (Origin, 2006), where the guitarist's spirituality became a touchstone for music ranging from the ethereal to the grounded, and from elegant folklore to potent, angst-driven fusion. What makes Bifröst even more satisfying is its narrowing of focus down from a larger cast of characters to a quintet, bringing together old friends Wertico and fretless electric bassist Brian Peters with new Norwegian ones, double-bassist Arild Andersen and saxophonist Bendik Hofseth.

    That Andersen collaborated, early in his career, with Terje Rypdal makes this transatlantic first encounter all the more successful,

    ...more


    John Kelman, All About Jazz   


    Website
      


    John Kelman, All About Jazz   


    Website
      

    Author Picture

    A longtime member of ex-Pat Metheny Group drummer Paul Wertico's trio, enough has already been written about John Moulder's double life as jazz guitarist and ordained priest. Bifröst is Moulder's follow-up to the ambitious and eclectic Trinity (Origin, 2006), where the guitarist's spirituality became a touchstone for music ranging from the ethereal to the grounded, and from elegant folklore to potent, angst-driven fusion. What makes Bifröst even more satisfying is its narrowing of focus down from a larger cast of characters to a quintet, bringing together old friends Wertico and fretless electric bassist Brian Peters with new Norwegian ones, double-bassist Arild Andersen and saxophonist Bendik Hofseth.

    That Andersen collaborated, early in his career, with Terje Rypdal makes this transatlantic first encounter all the more successful, given that Moulder's visceral, overdriven and often whammy bar-centric electric playing is unmistakably influenced by the Norwegian guitar legend. And while he certainly possesses his own voice, the sound of another Norwegian notable and early Andersen cohort, saxophonist Jan Garbarek, is an equal touchstone in Hofseth's tone and approach.

    Here, Moulder's high energy electric is juxtaposed and combined with six- and twelve-string acoustic guitars to to create a context that hints, in some ways, back to Ralph Towner and Solstice (ECM, 1975). Bifröst's opening title track, in fact, speaks deeply of Towner's harmonic language and, with Wertico's light cymbal work and Hofseth's soaring lines, could easily fall into similar territory were it not for Andersen's in-the-gut double-bass and Moulder's searing electric solo. Moulder's serpentine melody weaves around ambiguous harmonies, as the piece builds dramatically—and inevitably.

    Moulder may drive some of Bifröst with hard-edged electricity, but he's also capable of softer lyricism; his solo acoustic intro to the ultimately more buoyant "Watch Your Step"—where his acoustic melody is bolstered in strong, lilting unison by Hofseth and Peters— sounding like an outtake from Metheny's One Quiet Night (Nonesuch, 2003). "Echoes of Home," driven gently by Wertico's percussion, is another acoustic feature, with Moulder recalling Windham Hill's Alex DeGrassi, but with greater depth.

    Andersen's remarkable combination of deep, resonant tone and lithe dexterity is a fundamental throughout the disc, with his solo intro to "Magical Space" a highlight as he builds phrase-after-phrase over a looped chordal wash. Once the group enters, setting a dark context for solos by Moulder (again, on acoustic) and Hofseth, its temporal elasticity recalls ECM classics like Bill Connors' Of Mist and Melting (1978). Wertico's restraint here is as impressive as his more powerful bent on the closing part of Moulder's episodic "Time Being," a 15-minute epic that ends with a repeating series of ascending chords, bringing the album to a strong and definitive close.

    Quietly, and with little fuss, Moulder has built his voice as writer and performer, and a rare ability to conceptualize broader narratives. With Bifröst he leverages Trinity's ambitious nature into an album that may appear smaller in focus, but is ultimately even more expansive in overall sound, vision and chemistry.

    Track Listing: Bifröst; Watch Your Step (introduction); Watch Your Step; Magical Space (introduction); Magical Space; Echoes of Home; Cold Sea Triptych: Part 1; Cold Sea Triptych: Part 2; Cold Sea Triptych: Part 3; Time Being.

    Personnel: John Moulder: electric guitars, 12-string and 6-string acoustic guitars; Bendik Hofseth: tenor saxophone; Arild Andersen: double-bass; Paul Wertico: drums, percussion; Brian Peters: electric fretless bass, programming.

  2. Author Picture

    In some ways in a similar vein as Duke Ellington's Sacred Music, John Moulder here creates a set of his own inspirational jazz. The performances are exquisite, with sensitive performances on all instruments. The mood is contemplative, meditative, as one would probably expect. Moulder's guitar strums out only what it needs to, with Laurence Hobgood's piano in tandem. Others often take on the temporary role of lead, with a soft run on the trumpet or sax playing out the main melody. The compositions are careful, tentative, but almost more literal than one would expect in the jazz world. Chaos, the opening track, builds from a quiet nothingness (primordiality) to a clashing finish. Creation builds methodically, with what seem to be references to 2001: A Space Odyssey and the moment of the monolith.

    ...more


    Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide   


    Website
      


    Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide   


    Website
      

    Author Picture

    In some ways in a similar vein as Duke Ellington's Sacred Music, John Moulder here creates a set of his own inspirational jazz. The performances are exquisite, with sensitive performances on all instruments. The mood is contemplative, meditative, as one would probably expect. Moulder's guitar strums out only what it needs to, with Laurence Hobgood's piano in tandem. Others often take on the temporary role of lead, with a soft run on the trumpet or sax playing out the main melody. The compositions are careful, tentative, but almost more literal than one would expect in the jazz world. Chaos, the opening track, builds from a quiet nothingness (primordiality) to a clashing finish. Creation builds methodically, with what seem to be references to 2001: A Space Odyssey and the moment of the monolith. Incarnation is particularly gentle, but with a touch of sadness. The music of the various mysteries gods directly for the exotic sound, with udu and berimbau enlisted to aid in the transition. Resurrection involves a Weather Report-like buildup, with cheer and power intertwined. It's a fine album musically, but almost exactly what one might expect if told only that it was inspirational jazz.

  3. Author Picture

    Whereas many of Chicago's jazz and blues guitar icons seem to channel the dark alleys and the bar sign neon of the city through their instruments, John Moulder's sound is more akin to a synthesis of the lakefront—a beauty and serenity that is just as likely to show a face of fury and cold precision. For some time now, Moulder has quietly been developing his sound into something quite unique. The Eleventh Hour provides the opportunity to hear it in a live setting.

    Recorded at the celebrated jazz venue, Chicago's Green Mill, Moulder presents a set of tunes culled from past albums. But while past studio albums like Bifrost (Origin, 2009) and Trinity (Origin, 2006) were laced with atmospheric effects,

    ...more


    Dave Sumner, All About Jazz   


    Chicago, IL   


    Website
      


    Dave Sumner, All About Jazz   


    Chicago, IL   


    Website
      

    Author Picture

    Whereas many of Chicago's jazz and blues guitar icons seem to channel the dark alleys and the bar sign neon of the city through their instruments, John Moulder's sound is more akin to a synthesis of the lakefront—a beauty and serenity that is just as likely to show a face of fury and cold precision. For some time now, Moulder has quietly been developing his sound into something quite unique. The Eleventh Hour provides the opportunity to hear it in a live setting.

    Recorded at the celebrated jazz venue, Chicago's Green Mill, Moulder presents a set of tunes culled from past albums. But while past studio albums like Bifrost (Origin, 2009) and Trinity (Origin, 2006) were laced with atmospheric effects, it's a thrilling experience to hear the blistering heat and cool grace of his guitar undiluted by studio mechanics and effects.

    For this show, Moulder leads a quintet of pros that includes saxophonist/bass clarinetist Geof Bradfield and past Pat Metheny Group alum, drummer Paul Wertico. The five of 'em sound like they've been performing together since they were wee tots. No better proof of that can be found than on the album's closing track, "Time Being," where a hypnotic opening of circular interplay between Molder and pianist Jim Trompeter leads to a series of solos that build atop one another, peaking with a surge of electricity that explodes with the final notes. It's one of those rare occurrences that a song is truly deserving of the descriptor "magical."

    For a live recording, the audio quality is rock solid. When the inevitable sounds of the venue do hit the audio, they serve to enhance the listening experience rather than detract from it. Live, the heart of Moulder's sound beats large, and he brings the show straight to the speakers of anyone who listens, as if seated in a booth at the Mill the night it all went down.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

Now Available!: John's new CD, "Earthborn Tales of Soul and Spirit"...Buy Now
+ +