Everyone’s journey through music is different. What hip-hop sample, what album chosen by cover or on gut feeling, what jazz version of a standard or classic recontextualized by a DJ grabbed you and sent you reeling upstream through your own quest through all of music. And along the way there will be countless small tributaries to explore, and the false starts of youth, but there will also be big forks in the river that you return to again and again.
For myself, and I imagine a lot of other people, finding myself ear to speaker with the work of the Mizell brothers, especially Places And Spaces, was not just that call to adventure but also a fork in the river I returned to again and again to nourish and regroup and set back out for the uncharted. And god what a fork; Byrd and the Brothers can get you almost anywhere in just a few moves. Follow them back into Blue Note, to Trane, to Alice, to Miles. Another direction leads through forgotten rust belt funk to Memphis and Georgia and Mr. Brown. Wind down Rock Creek to the Bronx on to Stetasonic and Black Moon and Neo Soul. Or skim across the Brothers’ catalog and wind up at the Loft; Larry and Frankie spiking the punch.
Plenty of people have sung poignantly about the joys of life and love and loss and the melancholy of approaching middle age, but how rare is it that someone does it so well, and over such a lush map of music’s past and two seers’ sketches of its future. Call it fusion, call it rare groove or disco or whatever you want really, it’s your journey. If you’re on it, you know, if you’re not, welcome - you couldn’t have found a better place to start.
- Turntable Lab exclusive
- Blue Note blue colored vinyl
- French import pressing
- includes Institut Audio obi strip + printed inner sleeve
- limited edition of 600
- release date: 03/25/20
- music label: LMLR / Blue Note Records 2020
- TTL Institut Audio 012
reviewed by Roctakon 02/2020
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