Over the years Joan Torres’s All Is Fused has explored new musical territories in order to expand its skills and find new forms of expression. Throughout this journey they have gone against the standard, expected musical forms and explored outside their comfort zones, discovering new ways to write music that might lead to fresh sounds. However, the All Is Fused philosophy is not one to reject ideas but to integrate them. Therefore, for this record, the ensemble decided to embrace these forms as a grounding device from which to innovate.
All Is Fused’s latest Embrace Form is an album that explores the relationship between experimental instrumental music and popular music by leveraging familiar forms and enhancing or appropriating them to fit the ensemble’s expressive style. Tracks featuring common musical forms or compositional techniques such as verse-chorus (“Explode”), vamps (“Friends, Memories, Loops”), and canon (“Crystalline) are present as much as improvisational forms that are open (“Cotati Reset”) or that follow call-and-response patterns (“Caribbean Mountains”). These familiar forms are then modified to bring listeners something familiar with a twist. Take for example “Crystalline,” where a common form such as a canon, which usually includes repeated motifs with added layers, in this case, grows not just vertically (additional layers), but also horizontally (additional bars that add to the initial motifs). Today the band has shared the single “No Voices Lost.”
The band says about the single, “As we grow we have been many people and had many voices. Through explosive groove and energy as well as emotive tones, we cast a musical spell to let go of unspoken taboos, summon those voices forth and ensure there are no voices lost.”
All Is Fused leverages conventional forms to keep moving beyond the constraints of current fusion, eschewing conventions and showcasing virtuoso playing without becoming self-indulgent. Embrace Form adds to the sextet’s body of work and continues to expand its sonic horizons creating enjoyable textures that can appeal to fans of progressive Jazz and non-fans alike.
Photo Courtesy: Andrew Westhoff