What happens when a former session musician for the likes of Bo Diddley turns towards classically influenced musical minimalism after a period of working on ElectroJazz, Improv and large-scale bass compositions? Well, in the case of Jeffrey Roden he ends up with a massive boxed double CD album plus extended booklet named "Threads Of A Prayer Volume 1" released on Solaire Records which is to be continued with a sequel in 2017. Opening the album with a series of "Twelve Prayers" the listener is immediately drawn into the world of ultraminimalist composition Jeffrey Roden's work has been revolving around in the past five+ years as we're thrown back on our own, being left with nothing but single sparse piano tones and plenty of space. Following up we've got a series of "Untitled 10 Pieces" which are following a similar path but seem to focus on a more chord-based, harmonic and melodic approach despite still living up to the promise of being ultimately sparse before "The Passing Of A King" provides minor key melancholia for late fall afternoons at the end of the fist CD. Going into the second part of the album "The Many Latitudes Of Grief" offer seven pieces written for an octet consisting of four strings, piano, timpani and trombone which all provide an, of course mininimalist, inward looking, yet sometimes tense and dramatic - this goes especially for "Two" and "Four" - variation of chamber music with a well score'esque, romantic quality whilst the two untitled string quartets following up to this series provide more of a panoramic attitude well informed by (Neo)Classical music. Finally, we see the last string quintet named "Leaves" stretch out over a stunning 35 minutes bringing on a long soothing flow of romanticism and beauty without coming even near to anything that could be put in the kitsch drawer. Excellent album, even for those who're not too fond of Classical or (Neo)Classical music at all. Get!
Album artwork on Instagram!