Record Review: Animation “Asiento”

Just under half a century ago Columbia Records released a document subtitled “New Directions In Music.” The document, Bitches Brew, issued on behalf of visionary trumpeter Miles Davis, did indeed signal those new directions. While it was not the first of these new directions in jazz (by Davis or other contemporaries) it did have the most potent effect; it electrified (pun intended) the music and exposed it to a new generation.

Now, 41 years later, the music is revisited by Animation on Asiento, “a re-imagination of Bitches Brew.” Amazingly, music that is nearly half a century old seems completely futuristic. From the kickoff of Joe Zawinul’s “Pharoh’s Dance” to the closer of Wayne Shorter’s “Sanctuary,” the album is brewing (pun still intended) with electronic textures that would make most livetronic musicians cream their jeans.

But on top of the soundscape, you still have the creative improvisational aspects that are the lifeblood of the music. And while it is Bob Belden’s outing, it’s truly the backing band of Scott Kinsey, Guy Licata, Matthew Garrison and DJ Logic who take the music into even “newer directions.” For fans of the original landmark album and greater fans of electronic music, the album is not to be neglected.

By Joe Lang

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