David Borgo ‎– Massanetta Springs

Circumvention Music ‎– circumvention 036
CD, Album


1 Massanetta Springs
2 Only In My Dreams
3 Heron Pool
4 Scomotion
5 Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love
6 Conference Of The Birds
7 Pomodori
8 No Place Like Home
9 Oddity
10 In This Life Till Now


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June 25, 2012
This album has a silky smooth quality that drapes over the listener in smooth coils and flows. Where most of the people involved in this label and ACCRETIONS seem driven to push the boundries of Jazz way beyond hitherto stagnant pools of complacency, BORGO has reversed the process, taking us back in time to a sepia-toned era of dim-lit rooms filled with rich audio syrup flowing from the then-new speakers of Bakelite boxes. With only one exception, this album has a serene, seductive quality to it, mixing Trad Jazz and a soporific Swing into an image-enriched journey through tunes which manage to hide mild surprises while managing to quickly and easily establish themselves inside the head of the listener. The musicianship is faultless to my untrained ear - the horns seem to birth golden notes over the top of the tight and dependable combo of percussion and bass, with subtle guitar which shines on the few occasions it makes it's way to the front of the mix - mellow and expressive acoustic charm-clusters fall from the strings like autumn leaves.

The Duke Ellington track brings a feeling of Romance to the air - a WWII sadness of separation, perhaps ingrained into the younger listener by Hollywood's portrayal of love and loss in that time of despair. Even today there's a gorgeous sense of momentary escape from the troubles and turmoil of everyday life to this sound - a cocoon of softness from which the listener rarely wishes to escape.

The one exception to the overall peaceful nature of this album is the aptly named live track "Oddity" - perhaps the only tenuous link to the ACCRETIONS / TRUMMERFLORA posse. A real change of pace here - a cyclic churning tunnel of wacked-out rhythm set to a pace which would wear the listener down over a longer stretch. It seems out of place set within the velvet caresses of this album, perhaps intended as a wake-up call to those lulled by the smooth and untroubled tunes which run across the rest of the album.

My knowledge of Jazz is extremely limited (as many of you might have guessed), so I cannot really compare these tunes to various stylists, nor can I sneeringly dismiss it in any way. Certainly as someone with only a peripheral grasp of things Jazz, I would heartily recommend this to anyone who wants something warm and welcoming to listen to, and has a similar ignorance as my own. Smooth and relaxing - ideal for late night listening.

"Conference Of The Birds" is perhaps a little more complex than other tracks here - the brass section cascading in serpentine festoons around the steady rhythm section like tinsel around a craggy tree.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.