Label: Astral Spirits, BIG EGO Records
What is a standard to a forest? What makes that different to what’s a standard, in that jazz classic compositional sense, to a desert? To a city? To a suburb? To a plain? A wetland? A grove? The only thing standard in a forest, like any other environment, is the search for balance. Nature seeks an equilibrium and, given enough time, it finds it. It’s the only way to ensure survival and growth. For three albums, David Lord has been exploring this idea, seeking out some sense of the ethereal, with drummer Chad Taylor and producer Chris Schlarb, his only constant companions. All the while, on Lord’s solo ventures under his own name (and even in his prior work under the nom de plume Francis Moss), he’s finding new ways to examine the interconnectivity of trees, of fungi, of ecosystems brought together in harmony and just what that would be for people to make that kind of harmony for ourselves. This third volume is merely the latest iteration of that idea, the results of the latest planted seeds. The ensemble is a bit larger, and so are the ideas, but that’s also how growth tends to work in the forest if things are going right.
When Taylor opens up on the kit midway through “Trees Yield Tomte” and all of Lord’s and Nathan Hubbard’s arpeggios start darting around corners, it’s a fun break that doesn’t feel at all like it’s coming from the Christmas goblin of the song’s namesake. Christine Tavolacci’s flute on “In Woods I Know” add that sense of mystery like a concerning wind two the trees on a hike that could make an adventurous turn. How much of David Tranchina’s bass acts the propulsive force of “Infant Elm” as much as Chad Taylor’s drumming? Is Lord’s glockenspiel this album series’ paprika? Its nutmeg?
First pressing of 500 on black vinyl split between BIG EGO and Astral Spirits! Get it while you can!
First pressing of 500 on BLACK vinyl split between BIG EGO and Astral Spirits! Get it while you can!
Recorded December 12th & 13th, 2019