Release Date: Mar 15, 2019
Record label: Impulse!
The bandleader, born Herman Blount (who purported that he was from Saturn rather than the somewhat more mundane Alabama), is all over this second album from Leeds-rooted trio The Comet Is Coming , the group comprising King Shabaka (Shabaka Hutchings) on saxophone, Danalogue (Dan Leavers) on keyboards/synth and Betamax (Max Hallett) on drums. Not so much in the music itself: echoes of John Coltrane , Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders (with whom Comet now share a label) and the inner-space explorations of Can are much more evident in these predominantly pumped-up, sparsely populated yet still vividly textured jams. However, the trio certainly share Sun Ra's decidedly intergalactic vibes and, most importantly, a keen intent to remind us that jazz started out as dance music, a collective effort aimed at making you move, with the chin-stroking abstractions that the genre is now indelible linked with added to the mix later.
England's sci-fi jazz trio the Comet Is Coming have been exploring the cosmos since 2015 when drummer Maxwell Hallett (Betamax) and keyboardist Dan Leavers (Danalogue) were playing a gig as futurist duo Soccer96 when they encountered Shabaka Hutchings (King Shabaka) hanging near the stage with a saxophone. They invited him up and improvised. Received enthusiastically, the trio formed the Comet Is Coming to explore a mutual love of Sun Ra, John and Alice Coltrane, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and future-forward electronica.
L ike many determined futurists, London trio the Comet Is Coming have a foot firmly in the past. Their 2016 debut, Mercury-nominated Channel the Spirits, paid homage to the "cosmic jazz" of Sun Ra and John and Alice Coltrane, an influence that persists, principally through the lyrical sax of Shabaka Hutchings, the reigning titan of British jazz. Now signed to Impulse, the label that issued many of their heroes, the group take a more startling turn here, with much of the album shaped by studio post-production, where drummer Max Hallett and synth player Dan Leavers have created an ever-morphing mix of textures and beats.