Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Mark Redlefsen
Moraine is a progressive jazz-rock fusion group led by Seattle-based guitarist/composer Dennis Rea. The group's second CD, Metamorphic Rock: Live at NEAR fest, from a live show held at the Bethlehem, PA festival in 2010, finds the band growing its sound to a more competitive level, moving beyond ideas covered on its studio debut, manifest density (Moonjune, 2009). Although the set is very much a composed and focused effort, it contains much of the frenzied energy of Rea's free jazz/rock fusion work with his other group and its eponymous debut, Iron Kim Style (Moonjune, 2010). Rea and company create a sound that inevitably draws King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra comparisons, but Metamorphic Rock ultimately succeeds in making its own distinct concavity in the genre.
Rea's guitar work has the focus, repetitive patterns and riffs of Crimson co-founder Robert Fripp, while echoing a nimble surf guitar feel, giving the band room to operate ("Uncle Tang's Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"). Versatility is displayed by electric bassist Kevin Millard (who plays the 8-string, extended-range NS/Stick bass) and drummer Stephen Cavit as they charge like the cavalry on the opening "Irreducible Complexity," settle into supportive subtlety on "Blues for a Bruised Planet" and even fall into a slow dreamy reggae groove on "Dub Interlude." ... read more...
Personnel: Dennis Rea (guitar); Alicia DeJoie (violin); James Dejoie (flute, baritone saxophone, percussion); Kevin Millard (8-string bass); Stephen Cavit (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Steve Fisk.
Recording information: North East Art Rock Festival, Bethlehem, PA (06/10/2010).
Photographer: Joe Del Tufo.