I know this blog has been quite heavy on classical music recently. I’ll promise I’ll try to increase the frequency of Jazz articles!
So, here we go.
I only discovered GoGo Penguin some years ago. I was really on board they came out with their album Man Made Object, which remains my favorite album of the group until now.
I’ve also listed Man Made Object in My Top 5 Jazz Albums of 2016. I actually had noticed them with their previous 2014 album, V 2.0, which I also really liked. I also had the pleasure of seeing them live already
Therefore, I was quite disappointed when I just really didn’t particularly like their 2018 album A Humdrum Star.
Nicely enough, when their latest album came out yesterday, I was immediately hooked.
If you want to know more about the style of GoGo Penguin, click on any of the links above, but just to quickly summarise, we’re talking about the setup of a traditional Jazz piano trio here, but with music that clearly takes cues from EST, but is equally influenced by Philipp Glass type minimal music, and probably even more by the beats of contemporary Electronica.
GoGo Penguin: Ocean In A Drop (Music For Film) (BlueNote 2019)
So here’s the genesis of this album. Apparently the thee artists of GoGo Penguin, Chris Illingworth, Nick Blacka, and Rob Turner, really liked the Philipp Glass written soundtrack to the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi.
They liked it so much that they played their own soundtrack to the film. Everything was recorded live while watching the movie.
Yes, this may remind you of another famous movie soundtrack that was recorded in a similar manner (which is a great album and should be discussed on these pages at some point), but I digress.
This music was never intended to be released. Nicely though, enough people in their immediate entourage bugged them enough, so now we have a new fantastic album.
It is quite short, EP-style, only 22 min (and one could argue, a bit expensive for the duration), but the music is just fantastic, very inspired. We’re back to the mesmerising mix of fast rhythms and beautiful minimalist melodies that I so loved on Man Made Object.
You really need to check it out.
My rating: 5 stars
You can find it here (Qobuz)