If you're by now familiar with the work of Kevin Kastning and his mysterious world of neoclassicial chamber jazz—and I've penned many a critique in FAME of his stuff, so what the hell's yer excuse, Jeremiah?—this CD, highly anticipated by me and his ever growing legion of sonically literate fans, is going to intrigue your obviously sophisticated palate due to its simultaneously idiosyncratic and baroque wonts. Nowhere, Now Here expands the Kastning catalogue modally by re-ushering in a horn player rather than a second guitarist and percussionist, as has previously mostly been the case.
As I've said, in many ways Carl Clements is a soul brother to my all-time favorite sax player, Jan Garbarek, because of his almost monastically outré stylings and thinkery blended with a bit of Charles Lloyd (Somewhen) and others. The imagery suggested by Kastning himself, in his many outings, has ever been of a Redon / Ernst / Miro / Klee / Pollock / Greco / Dali / Matta / Tanguy / etc. bent, and Clements injects an almost abruptly more the-rest-of-Oregon-esque element into what heretofore reflected a hell of a lot of Ralph Towner per se. Incomparably Light and Repose in fact sounds damnably like that magnificent band's earliest period (Music of Another Present Era and so on) rather then the Towner / Abercrombie collaborations frequently so meltingly, hauntingly displayed.
Though the liner notes do not say one way or the other, Kevin has worked almost exclusively in improvisational modes, so I'm guessing that's the case here as well, even though his entire oeuvre at first appears meticulously charted. Too, the gent's forever working with luthiers to produce new stringed instruments, and Nowhere features, among other things, the 30-string contra-soprano guitar and 17-string contraguitar, as the "composer" (Kevin and I agree that all music writing is improvisational from the git-go) continues to wring from the material world that which will perfectly reduplicate what wafts through his incisive mind and imagination.
Nowhere, Now Here is another in a continuing set of entablatures of worlds we know, dream of, guess at, and are endlessly surprised by. You can start wherever you please in his lengthy catalogue and be just as at home and hypnotized as with any other of the CDs—this one, that one, it doesn't matter. All that's required is that you listen. The rest will take care of itself.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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