Monday, October 07, 2013

Is this the best album of 2013?

Jonathan Wilson-‘Fanfare' LP 2013
Released Monday 14th October 2013 on Bella Union.

Is this the best album of 2013?
I’ve had Jonathan Wilson’s Sophomore LP ‘Fanfare' on heavy rotation all weekend and I slowly became aware of its reminiscence to the most perfect of twelve-hour, Lysergic acid diethylamide25 trips!.. Gripping and gruelling; exhausting even but at the same time euphoric, spiritually fulfilling and fundamentally necessary (once at least) if life is to be truly a journey…

This little piece of plastic called ‘Fanfare’ manages somehow to lift and carry one up on a trip around the musical universe; a cosmic, sparkling, glinting guided-tour of all that’s pleasurable about modern music and when I say modern I mean early Modernity to the present day.

There are not many men (or women) who can make a saxophone solo sound palatable in a rock setting but he’s done it three times on this LP... YES, Jazz inflected… YES unashamedly Funk driven in places; albeit with a Hippy, Laurel Canyon vibe, R&B inflected even (that’s real R&B) in fact all manner of genre similarities abound but this LP remains strictltly a rock album in the classic sense…

If it was a movie it would have to carry an ‘R' or an 18 rating because it’s certainly not for kids… or hipsters!

This is 'adult orientated rock' in the true sense ie you sit down and you LISTEN… End of story… Oh and then you marvel and pour over the cover for 78 minutes and 40 glorious, blissed-out seconds. You don’t do anything else, no washing-up, no hoovering, no cooking, no travelling on public transport, NOTHING...

The album also has an underground almost subversive feel and is, in that sense, a truly ‘Independent’ album.

Wilson’s and subsequently our Avant-acid trip through musical genres makes me think of The Byrds, not stylistically speaking but more along the lines of The Byrds original intention for ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’ which was conceived as a documented, epic musical history of 20th Century, American music on one LP… Unfortunately never realised; you can blame Gram Parsons for that!

Wilson takes that ambitious idea ten, giant steps ‘farther along' with him firmly hoisted and seated on giants' shoulders, peering, even further than his peers, through a kaleidoscopic telescope and documenting the complete, plotted history of music… Oh as well as its relationship to Thermo-Nuclear Astrophysics and non-denomination spirituality no less!

If this isn’t the best LP of 2013 it is certainly the most ambitious!
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