The Comet Is Coming

Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

This is about searching. For space, for time and for understanding.

It’s a sentiment extolled by Kate Tempest, an English poet, during “Blood Of The Past,” the fourth cut on The Comet Is Coming’s Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, a follow-up to its 2016 long-playing debut. “Imagine a culture that, at its root, has a more soulful connection to land,” Tempest intones, before detailing the vagaries of modern life.

The Comet Is Coming, just one of three acts helmed by Shabaka Hutchings on the Impulse label, takes on a more pliable feel than Sons of Kemet or Shabaka and the Ancestors, moving from floating minimal stretches to dancefloor theatricality and into jazzy workouts. But the saxophonist’s tone still strafes easily through whatever setting he’s working in. Here, along with synthesist Dan Leavers and drummer Maxwell Hallett, tracks like “Super Zodiac” seem to herald a new Aquarian Age while stitching in sci-fi sounds, quick-step rhythms and Hutchings playing ahead of the beat, a tactic that isn’t quite his signature, but an approach that might enable listeners to pick his horn out of a crowded field.

With or without its lofty aims, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery pretty easily can be read as a party record. The dancey intentions of not just this ensemble, but a huge swath of the contemporary UK scene, don’t subvert its efforts at pushing the culture toward a more fully realized consciousness. Instead, the angle might make the spirit of this work more easy to dispatch—and even taken to heart.

On Sale Now
December 2022
Kenny Barron
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