Open The Gates (International Anthem/Don Giovanni)
One striking thing about the very striking Open The Gates, the third album by American East Coast quintet Irreversible Entanglements, is that while advance talk might lead you to expect an ear-testing blaze of free-jazz fire music, it often defaults to structure and utilises melody to sublime effect. Try the cosmic synth riff on Keys To Creation for size, say, or Aquiles Navarro’s coolly plangent trumpet on Lágrimas Del Mar.
For the avoidance of doubt, there is fire aplenty on Open the Gates, found in drummer Tcheser Holmes’ nose-to-tail approach to his kit and Keir Neuringer’s saxophone offerings, variously sustained and tumbledown. Most of all, it’s in the ever-intense Afrocentric poetry of Camae Ayewa, the voice of Irreversible Entanglements and best known as her alias, Moor Mother. Across Open The Gates’ seven tracks, some the length of an LP side, her imagery is more classically spiritual than usual while leaning with loving weight on her Black women vocal forebears, denouncing myriad global seats of historic slavery.
words NOEL GARDNER
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