Ominous tribal drums give way to melody and exuberance on Jonathan Townes' latest instrumental track, "Puzzle Piece." The joy is short-lived, though, as by the end of the composition, rhythms and melodies ascend into a cacophony and threaten to crash and burn. Too much harmony, too soon, Townes seems to be saying. Laying a traditional horn melody over electronica in the second phase of the song, the piece calls to mind modern European takes on American jazz, as if the Maryland-born, Berklee educated Townes is simultaneously honoring and tearing down tradition. It's a thrilling and emotionally frenetic piece of music that never lets you get too comfortable. And that seems be Townes' intent. The parts of it may only be pieces of the whole, but the whole of it is itself a larger piece of the range of emotions we experience on any given day. It's life through the lens of a time-lapsed camera. ~~~ Joe Pagetta (15 Dec 2012)
Jonathan Townes: guitar; Dennis Mitcheltree: saxophone
Additional recording by Keith Jones at CGS Productions, Van Nuys. Mixed by Jonathan Townes at Home, Los Angeles. Mastered by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon Studios, London. Artwork by Lucas Fauble (lucasfauble.daportfolio.com).
Special thanks to Keith Jones at CGS Productions. Thanks to Bryan Velasco, Anthony Kronfle and to Mandy Parnell and Chris Le Monde at Black Saloon Studios.