Collocutor’s Continuation is a modern jazz album in the same sense that King Crimson is a “rock group”—the elements are there but it’s put together in a way that makes the experience altogether unique. The brainchild of Tamar Osborn, who composed all the tracks and plays various saxophones and flute, the album is highly atmospheric and charged with a different energy than most modern jazz— it seeks out the dark corners and brings light to unexpected places. Osborn’s interests seem eclectic—from African to classical to soul and pop; she has her hand in on a lot of projects –Collocutor is one of several and has a sound that is refined and far from predictable. https://tamarosborn.com In my correspondence with her, I asked Osborn to explain what this sound was about:
Although various African music has been enormously influential on my writing (jazz, Afrobeat and Ethio-jazz to name a few), they are far from being the only influences – brief experiences with Indian classical music and a youth spent playing and studying western classical music of many eras are just as important, and my aim when starting the band was to write only the music that wanted to be written, rather than try to fit a genre or aim for a particular audience.
The first side consists of three tracks: “Deep Peace,” “Continuation” and “Pause.” All of them depend on bass instruments: bass clarinet, baritone sax as well as double bass and percussion. The overall effect is mesmerizing and though it doesn’t use traditional “drone” instruments, you are lulled with a similar meditative quality. I treated the entire first side as one large suite or group of movements rather than individual compositions. They seem to fit together as one. The tone of these deeper ranging instruments was marvelous and made for an immersive experience.
The second side starts with a bit of cacophony on “The Angry One” but transitions into a fast-paced piece of exotica, “Lost and Found” that is a highlight of the album. The flute work is a lovely counterpoint to the rest of the assemblage. The last track, “Pause Reprise” has a clockwork pace set by the drums and various percussion sounds with the horns and other instruments chiming in at intervals to fill in color, shape and size. There’s a nice bit of distorted guitar in the middle of the track that adds a bit of edginess.
The horn sounds on this album are many and varied and in our correspondence, Osborn was quite emphatic about the importance of the other players on the album, who are credited as follows:
The record was pressed at Pallas in Germany and was flawless. Recording quality was first rate, sonically. A refreshing change from more traditional jazz sounds that will also appeal to those who don’t think of themselves as fans of jazz. Recommended.