Maneri Ensemble – Going To Church

Maneri Ensemble – Going To Church

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Roy Campbell: trumpets
Joe Maneri: clarinet, alto & tenor sax
Mat Maneri: viola
Matthew Shipp: piano
Barre Phillips: bass
Randy Peterson: drums

Going To Church presents a once-in-our-lifetime meeting of three distinct and potent worlds of improvisation. One sunny Saturday afternoon in the studio with no preset ideas, save free communication through tone. The open form and fluid dynamics that day manifest themselves into this profound program, ranging from a kind of pastoral beauty to an intensity of psychedelic proportions.

String prodigy Mat Maneri and his father, Joe Maneri – both innovators in the realm of elucidation through microtones. The legendary ex-pat bassist Barre Phillips (New Thing at Newport, Ornette Coleman, Naked Lunch soundtrack, ECM Records pivot) representing the finest that European improv has to offer. Legends in the making Matthew Shipp and Roy Campbell, bring to the gathering the African-American jazz tradition; their gifts honed in the hardcore NYC of Now. Improvisation at the highest level knows no geographic or genealogical boundaries. Truth to tape, Going To Church is another divine offering from all involved.

"4.5 Stars. Following in the tradition of In Full Cry, this version of Joe and Mat Maneri's ensemble that also includes bassist Barre Phillips, Matthew Shipp on piano, drummer Randy Peterson, and Roy Campbell on trumpet is perhaps the most potent yet. A fully involved series of improvisations, Going to Church is a near-suite in three parts. Joe Maneri's conceptual microtonalism is at the root of all of these pieces, where notions of front lines and rhythm sections blur into one another as time itself is stretched beyond recognition. The addition of a second horn player and Shipp on piano is welcome in that with the increased chromatic range, the timbral extensions that are integral to the Maneris' music become almost infinite. Phillips is an intuitive bassist: he uses the harmonic reaches to engender the improvisations with a signature dynamic; he lays back and moves forcefully inside to shore up anything that may get lost. Shipp plays less percussively here, since the instrumentation allows for his gorgeous chord voicings to be heard as a part of the overall work as opposed to their driving force. The most surprising thing here is the role of textural analyst that Mat Maneri plays. He's shaping ambiences and colors, rounding and sharpening edges rather than forming them with his father, Shipp, or Campbell. But it works, as Joe uses his clarinets or saxophones in a manner that can only be described as chanting through the middle of these three pieces. As he winds ribbon-like around the foundations of space, color, texture, and lyrical invention, the title of the album becomes clear. This is music as mystery, divinely inspired and secularly executed. It invokes the sacred in that it doesn't deem to name it or conjure it, but makes it manifest with musical presence. Everything is based on the principle of equanimity here, which creates tension and offers such a myriad of harmonically inventive possibilities as to keep the listener fully engaged for the duration." –Thom Jurek, AllMusic

1. Blood And Body - 31:32
2. Before The Sermon - 08:38
3. Going To Church - 13:56

All compositions by the Ensemble,
published by Personasound (BMI)

Produced by Mat Maneri
Recorded by Carl Seltzer at Seltzer Sound, NYC
Mastered by Chris Flam at Mindswerve Studios, NYC
Design by Ming@409 from photographs by Edvard Vlanders