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Manifest Density

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Album Review

The term "delayed gratification" doesn't mean that there is a shortage, lack, or absence of gratification — only that gratification is coming later rather than sooner. In fact, delayed gratification can bring with it an abundance of gratification when it finally arrives. That is often the case in avant-garde jazz; albums that aren't easy to absorb offer considerable rewards after the listener is able to absorb the music and comprehend what is going on. Moraine's Manifest Destiny is a prime example. This 2008 recording, which is best described as electric avant-garde jazz-rock with world music influences at times, does not go out of its way to be accessible. Moraine — a quintet consisting of leader/founder Dennis Rea on electric guitar, Alicia Allen on violin, Ruth Davidson on cello, Kevin Millard on electric bass, and Jay Jaskot on drums — provides instrumental music that is passionate and emotional but complex, challenging, and abstract. Manifest Destiny is not an easy album to absorb, but the more that one is able to absorb Moraine's music, the more he/she is able to enjoy all the nuances. Moraine's appreciation of world music is definitely one of their strong points; during the course of this 54-minute CD, they incorporate elements of everything from Asian music to Middle Eastern/Arabic music to East European gypsy music — and those world music influences only add to Manifest Destiny's richness. Unfortunately, some listeners do insist on instant gratification when it comes to music; they want it right away, not after several listens. And those who fit that description probably won't have the patience to give Manifest Destiny a chance. But adventurous listeners who have some patience will find that the more they listen to Manifest Destiny, the more this album reveals its excellence.

Manifest Density, Moraine
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