Album Review: Geminus from Kane Mathis
Artist: Kane Mathis
Label Name: Nyaato
Reveling in the ancient art of making music from the string instruments of West Africa’s kora and Turkey’s oud, guitarist Kane Mathis embraces these instruments breed of folk-toned dances and ballads on his latest recording Geminus. Composing new works for both instruments, Mathis widens the field of experimental jazz with provocative sequences and enchanting passages from the strings of the kora and oud. His recording equally opens audiences minds about what they consider to be jazz, folk, soul, adult pop, and world music, each of which Mathis’s music shows traits of that audiences can discern.
Jangly figures embroidered by Mathis’s strings are splayed across “Kaira,” purveying the image of a Turkish dance while John Hadfield’s percussion and Sam Minale’s bass loop around the glittery sequences. The entanglement stirs the senses, inciting enjoyment. Other tracks implement the folksy texture of Mathis’s strings like the gyrating streaks he makes across “August,” producing lovely undulations. His gliding strings emanate a voicing that promises inner peace. Every inch of space along the melodies are colored by Mathis’s strings without ever making the listener feel congested by all the activity.
The balladry chord sequences coasting along “Chant” pour out a prayer-like sonorous that one could relate to soul music. Moving deeper into the recording, the plucking in Mathis’s strings whirling lghtly across “Etude” generate a flamenco-like pulsation adding a Latin accent into the Middle Eastern and Western African sounds. The recording amasses a lofty montage as Mathis incorporates another melodic facet, that of ethereal pop with the twinkling notes flickering across “Routes Des Jardins.”
Mixed by John Davis, the release was recorded live at The Bunker studio in Brooklyn, New York over 3 days. Perhaps opening people’s minds to the ancient art of making music driven by West Africa’s kora and Turkey’s oud, guitarist Kane Mathis showcases the folk-toned dances and ballads of these cultures. Broadening the field of experimental jazz, Mathis’s montage stirs the senses and promises enjoyment.
Kane Mathis – Kora, Oud
John Hadfield – Percussion
Sam Minaie – Bass