Monday, October 27, 2014

Mark de Clive-Lowe: Church - DownBeat

 Mark de Clive Lowe

A night at keyboardist-producer-beatmaker Mark de Clive-Lowe's "church" is a sermon through the history of popular music. He's as comfortable playing in a straightahead trio as he is remixing a bank of heavy beats. There are psychedelic dreamscapes like "The Processional," given wings by Low LEaf's harp and the blistering trumpet work of Josiel Perez Hernandez, while an impassioned guest spot from de Clive-Lowe's wife, Nia Andrews, on "Now Or Never" adds an r&b swagger. "Sketch For Miguel" explores shag carpet soul behind violist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's meaty bow, while the lone cover, Dollar Brand's "Imam," highlights the funky cymbals of Nate Smith. There is a bottomless undercurrent of groove on this recording but it isn't for purists of any genre. Sounds bend and fade, sharp horns blend with electronic fuzz and de Clive-Lowe keeps one hand on the keyboard and one on the knobs. One of his most impressive skills is his ability to do all of this live in small, dark rooms around the world. He doesn't take advantage of studio trickery but unfortunately that isn't apparent in this recording because the result has a professional polish.

Mark de Clive-Lowe @ DownBeat

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