Mitchell, Nicole / Black Earth Ensemble / Xenogenesis Suite
Album: Xenogenesis Suite   Collection:Jazz
Artist:Mitchell, Nicole / Black Earth Ensemble   Added:May 2008
Label:Firehouse 12  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2008-06-08 Pull Date: 2008-08-10 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: Aug 10 Jul 13 Jul 6 Jun 29 Jun 15
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Nov 14, 2008: Memory Select
Smell Of Fear
4. Jul 04, 2008: Memory Select
Transition C
2. Aug 05, 2008: Streams, Highways Redux
5. Jun 27, 2008: Memory Select
3. Jul 11, 2008: Memory Select
Dawn Of A New Life
6. Jun 13, 2008: Memory Select

Album Review
Craig Matsumoto
Reviewed 2008-06-01
Free-jazz suite well rooted in a classic '60s sound, but with a restrained kind of craziness that unfolds organically. The band is an all-acoustic nonet drawn from the rich Chicago jazz scene; the sound features horns, piano, and (mostly) wordless vocal keening.

It's dedicated to Octavia Butler, an acclaimed black female sci-fi writer. The vocalist, Ndosi, is meant to portray a lone human in an alien environment (played by the instruments), reflecting all the emotions that such a person would feel -- track 6 seems to exemplify the concept well.

Nicole Mitchell - flute
David Boykin - tenor sax
David Young - trumpet
Mankwe Ndosi - voice
Tomeka Reid - cello
Justin Dillard - piano
Josh Abrams - bass
Marcus Evans - drums
Avreeayl Ra - percussion

1- Blossoms into some spiky free improvising; horns blare some long tones that keep it grounded in '60s jazz.
2- Slowly chiming horn tones, into a tense gallop. Very quiet start.
3- Low-key, a nice thoughtful passage with a steady beat and some ghostly sounds
4- Gently jumbly, a bit chaotic but not wild.
5- Sparse. Reverent drumbeats, occasional groany sound bursts.
6- Nice but slightly eerie groove against crazed, even panicky vocals
7- A nicely rolling groove, easygoing mid/fast. Lots of swirling flute, some splashy piano slaps
8- Relaxed, hypnotizing riff... then some BLASTS, each followed by quiet aftermath. Unsettling, or at least startling
9- A dark, gentle swirl, a grand feel with some spoken word. Seems like the opening to a grand unknown, rather than a resolution.

Track Listing
1. Wonder   5. Oankali
2. Transition A   6. Adrenalin
3. Smell Of Fear   7. Transition C
4. Sequence Shadows   8. Before And After
  9. Dawn Of A New Life