the celestial ‘unity’ of the comet is coming
By Sound Check
March 7, 2019
There is no group in today’s music quite like The Comet Is Coming, ostensibly a contemporary cosmic jazz trio, but also far more than that. Because when reedman “King” Shabaka Hutchings, Dan “Danalogue” Leavers on keys and synths, and drummer/percussionist Max “Betamax” Hallett are in full flow together, they’re capable of conducting a multi-level musical search for the meaning of different feelings that simple — if far-flung — descriptors can’t abide.
At times The Comet is a power trio, riding a punk-funk lurch like a metal band, pummeling the audience. Other times they are purveyors of a rave-tastic post-industrial freedom, with Hutchings’ saxophones and bass clarinet’s earthy tone acting as a beacon in a futuristic druggy haze. And then on a rare occasion, such as “Unity,” from The Comet’s new album, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, they are an almost-ambient, pulsating spiritual presence, simple melodies and tidal polyrhythms pushing life onward.
And yet, by the end of “Unity,” there is a sense that The Comet Is Coming could, at its core, be a wonderfully unique yet traditional jazz trio, were they ever to shelve their arsenal of textures. If Danalogue’s bank of synths was a piano or an organ, the melodic interplay between he and Hutchings’ tenor would be a laid-back, gorgeous duet, underscored by Hallet’s rolling drums and percussion. Instead, it is celestial music befitting the beatific visions their name evokes.
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