As far as monikers go, ‘Lady Soul’ may well have proved a heavy load to bear for many artists. Yet Aretha Franklin, who has died at the age of 76, became the unimpeachable incumbent, the absolute personification of the genre of music that flowered from black America and grew around the whole world.
The Internet fluctuates between extreme collectivity (the Odd Future years) and individualism. Hive Mind is the California group’s Aquemini, a resounding statement about the group’s collective identity. Each musician’s hand is clearly identifiable on all the album’s 13 songs:
Originally released in the mid-’80s, this intriguing funk-laced album finds the iconic pocket trumpeter navigating through the sonic landscapes that some of his jazz leftist contemporaries such as Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, Joe Bowie’s Defunkt and Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society (and Herbie Hancock’ collaborations with Bill Frisell) trafficked.
Manga aficionados found out about Kodama—those malicious tree spirits—from Miyazaki’s films. Thus the musical duo has chosen the mysterious and the natural, but their music’s jazz/electro fusion reveals a voluntary tension between the product and the method.