By Yoshi Kato | Published January 2017
Double bassist/composer Daniel Foose’s ambitious Of Water And Ghosts can be absorbed on multiple levels, but musically, it’s a guitar/bass/percussion project with a string quartet that shares an approximate instrumentation with John Zorn’s Bar Kokhba Sextet—minus drums and with additional strings.
The schema makes for some inspired listening. “Bokor, The Diviner” opens the album with Foose’s pizzicato explorations, accentuated by Keita Ogawa’s percussion pronouncements and Sebastian Noelle’s guitar atmospherics. Later, Foose imbues deep wisdom into “Blue For Jay Bird.”
Knowing the conceptual narrative behind Of Water And Ghosts gives the listener an additional layer of appreciation. The title refers to the natural and perhaps mythical forces that are key to the Mississippi Delta, from where both sides of Foose’s family hail. Foose traveled to both locations to compose onsite, bringing his large instrument to its cemeteries, fields and roads. He’s included the GPS coordinates to where he penned each piece, so with programs such as Google Earth, one can see the exact location at which the compositions were written. DB
Of Water And Ghosts: The Sonora Suite: Bokor, The Diviner; The Judge; Sonora; Rites At The Grave; Pluto: Blues For Jay Bird; Monk’s Mississippi Milk; Pike Tricks The Haint With Fire; What Remains; Wedding Place (For Sueyoung). (44:31)
Personnel: Daniel Foose, bass; Sebastian Noelle, guitar; Keita Ogawa, percussion; Tomoko Omura, Maria Im, violin; Allyson Clare, viola; Jennifer DeVore, cello.