Fire in The Mind
added: 23 Oct 2012
// release date: 29 Oct 2012 // label: Ruf
reviewer: Andy Snipper
A new album from Bob Brozman is always something of an event. He is probably the most technically gifted guitarist in the world – as an ethnomusicologist he ought to understand the musical side as well but it is in the bringing together of his skill and knowledge that makes his albums such a delight. ‘Fire In The Mind’ sees him at his best and once attached to my player I found it impossible to remove – “just one more time, then I’ll put on something else” seems to have been a common refrain.
The album is a series of ‘mood stories’ told in rhythm and timbre. He plays with the listener by using instruments out of their natural genre and has you constantly working out where this tale is going but at no point is the music less that crucial and even when he uses prases that are familiar he is creating new pathways for the music to follow.
The song titles give the clues – ‘Breathing The Blues’ somehow sounds breathless and depressed as though the listener is deep in the swamplands with the air heavy and clagging but the slide guitar gives you a feeling of progression – you will emerge into the cool air and bright sun; ‘Cannibal Stomp’ is a chase with duelling guitars and percussion courtesy of Jim Norris – you get the picture.
Like all the best stories there are clues all over but the stories are the ones you make up for yourself and the imagery, even when he adds vocals, comes from the sounds of the instruments and not from overt word pictures.
Brozman’s playing is superb and he uses his skills to bring you into his music, bringing out your emotions and sensibilities.
This is not ‘pop’ music but it certainly deserves a wider audience than Blues fans alone – listen and understand and play it; it is truly addictive.
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