the celestial ‘unity’ of the comet is coming

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.

Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, the third album by The Comet Is Coming, is dropping on Impulse! in mid-March.