The Circling Sun: Spirits (Soundways/digital outlets)

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Spirits, Part 2
The Circling Sun: Spirits (Soundways/digital outlets)

The drummer/producer Julien Dyne and saxophonist Cameron Allen have appeared a number of times at Elsewhere in different contexts, from Avantdale Bowling Club and free jazz to emotionally yearning material.

Here they are part of the illustrious Auckland collective The Circling Sun which takes spiritual flight through Latin influences, the Coltranes John and Alice, a touch of Sun Ra, the soulful work of the young Charles Lloyd and more where the lightest of funk and psychedelic influences also combine to create something as at home in the chill-out room or on the headphones at home.

The keyboards – electric and acoustic – of Guy Harrison are just another interlocking element which reward careful attention while also just smiling along to the seductive grooves.

Those elements of instrumentation and ideas sometimes step forward on their own account – the soul-funk keyboards on Veneer over the exceptional shifting rhythms and emphasis by Dyne, the spare saxophone on the gloriously ascending emotions of Spirits Part 2 – but this is an album where the parts are equal in a seamless whole.

This kind of spiritual, exploratory jazz has been rare in this country – a previous example was the superb Wax///Wane by saxophonist Lucien Johnson (which featured drummer Cory Champion also here).

But if this signals musicians moving deeper into this area – although the opener Bones, if you need a loose reference point, is like a joyous Latin collision of Jools Holland freewheeling solo on The The's Uncertain Smile and the dance of Primal Scream's Screamadelica – then we have many reasons to be cheerful.

Utterly entrancing.

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You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here


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