The Lifted ensemble return for a second, fluid jazz excursion on their new album for PAN, this time with an expanded lineup that includes Beatrice Dillon, Bass Clef, Jordan GCZ, Dawit Eklund, Will DiMaggio, Aya (OOIOO) and Martin Kasey, plus Future Times boss Max D and fellow core members Matt Papich aka Co La, Jeremy Hyman and Motion Graphics. Sublime, late night listening for smoked-out jazz heads and fans of anything from Move D’s Conjoint to those excellent first couple of Flanger EP’s from Burnt Friedman and Uwe Schmidt.
In a further loosening of the jazz screws from their debut album, the group’s frameworks on ‘2’ feel even more open-ended and dynamic this time around. With classic finesse, their Baltimore studio is beautifully applied as an instrument, becoming a primary tool and practically a member of the band, which allows for a frictionless exchange of ideas and energies from the original ‘70s fusion groundbreakers to flow into a lush, hyper-present. In that sense Max D and the central processing unit of Papich, Hyman and Williams play a sort of Teo Macero-like role, acting as a crucial bloc of filters and editors for the players’ dextrous blind takes.
With exacting sleight-of-hand executed in both the performance and extended post-production studio techniques, they arrive at gently psychedelic conclusions in seven parts, creating an amorphous sound stage where they project images of a melting 4th world in opener ‘Now More Than Ever’, while Beatrice Dillon’s mouth-watering synth pads and Motion Graphics’ silvery piano bring that halcyon Hassellian feel teasingly close on ‘Mirror In MY Room’, before flirting with the ‘floor on the balmy swing of ‘Rose’, exquisitely lit up with Martin Kasey’s sax and Sami’s spirited flute.
Deep, highly atmospheric late night blissouts.