Artist: Joan Torres’s All is Fused
Genre: Instrumental Jazz
For fans of: Weather Report, Return to Forever, Trioscapes
Getting involved with music at a young age with a natural talent gave Joan Torres an advantage over a lot of his peers, and this talent which ultimately led to scholarships to attend the renowned Berklee College of Music certainly didn’t hurt his progression and career to follow. With an impressive ambition and open mind, Torres expanded and studied Salsa, Rock, Reggae, Latin Jazz, Funk, Fusion, Jazz, Classical Choir and even Brazilian Capoeira. The prowess you would imagine one accumulating from such experience is incredibly evident in his music. Landing on bass as his instrument of choice, Torres assembled a troupe with his well-known friends from the local music scene to aid in crafting his compositions and putting them to record.
Before is a resplendent debut effort from the ensemble. As you can see from the picture above, there is a lot of youth in this group. A youth you would not believe by listening to Before. The sublime synthesis found on this album would seemingly be that of seasoned jazz veterans with multi-decade long careers on their résumés. In the span of its 53-minute runtime, Before presents intricate beauty, variety, controlled chaos, undeniable grooves, and precision, all making it obvious that it was created with a love for its content as opposed to it just being a convenience. At times it feels as though you’re relaxed in a perfectly set Jazz club enjoying a drink while the band plays in the background and at others it feels as though you’re sitting in on a raw garage jam session, tapping your feet and bobbing your head to the rhythm.
I imagine it being hard for nearly anyone to not enjoy at least some sections from Before. Even a fan of technical death metal bands like Between The Buried and Me or progressive rock bands like RX Bandits could appreciate the instrumentation on this album, especially as a lot of the influence that goes into albums like The Parallax II: Future Sequence and Mandala, respectively, come from musicians and albums much like this. Songs like “Another World” and “The Chase” are perfect examples of the type of sound and structure those fans may enjoy from this effort.
While at few times tracks may seem to drag with extraneous bits, and at others, one instrument may drown out another, I must admit that I’m hardly versed in Jazz, but Joan Torres and Before has me worried about the fact that I may be missing out on something tremendous. But then again, maybe it doesn’t get much better than this…
Review written by: Brian Lion – Follow him on Twitter