Phalanx Ambassadors is the latest release from pianist/keyboardist/composer Matt Mitchell, whom PopMatters calls "the most complete and well-integrated improvising pianist of the last 15 years." They also called his prior release, A Pouting Grimace, "brilliant and varied... animated by breathtaking compositional imagination and startling arrangements." His bold new release features works that burst forth with intricate detail, featuring precise execution of complex polyrhythms and irrational meters, adventurous harmonic exploration and otherworldly melodies.
While rigorously structured, the music leaves ample room for varied layers of improvisation. The eponymously-named band - with Mitchell on piano and keyboards, Miles Okazaki on guitars, Patricia Brennan on vibraphone and marimba, Kim Cass on bass, and Kate Gentile on drums, along with producer David Torn - immerse themselves completely in Mitchell's idiosyncratic sound world, creating music that eludes genre boundaries and comparisons.
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