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Who begat Eye by John Blum

John Blum is a New York-born free-jazz pianist. On this record you will hear music that is to mainstream jazz what abstract art is to renaissance painting. The same tools are in play: a musical instrument, notes, rhythm, harmony...and you will hear sound bites from time to time that hint at conventional jazz roots, but what ends up on the musical canvas is of a parallel artistic universe. When you hit “play” you will know immediately that you are not in jazz Kansas anymore.
The liner notes explain that the song titles are taken from a poem called Lineage by Ted Hughes (http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/ted-hughes/lineage). Its meaning is mostly opaque, fragmented thoughts about creation and origins. So too Blum's music, fragmented expressions that are mostly opaque to all but the artist. But there perhaps is also the essence of its beauty. We are listening to music created in the moment from inside a human soul that is following its own unique and secret muse.
There is no doubting Blum's technical prowess on the piano. He coaxes both violence and joy from the keys, pounding here, spinning off a blur of upper-register runs there. You can choose to hear aimlessness or you can be fascinated trying to decipher just what it is Blum is trying to say as ideas swirl in his mind.
If you are going to enjoy Who begat Eye you will have already established a taste for free jazz and know how to appreciate its departure from conventional jazz forms. Blum is a fierce practitioner and will take you on the kind of unpredictable journey you would hope for.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: John Blum
  • CD Title: Who begat Eye
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Konnex Records
  • Tracks: Who begat Eye, Who begat Fear, Who begat Wing, Who begat Bone, Who begat Granite, Who begat Sweat, Who begat Nothing, Who begat Never, Never Never Never
  • Musicians: John Blum (piano)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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