Published Mar 05, 2015The unflagging energy with which Oren Ambarchi produces music is nearly unrivalled. The year 2014 saw over a half dozen of his projects — many of which are collaborative in nature — come to fruition, and this year it looks like he's set to outpace himself. Quixotism is a fine jewel among the pile of precious gemstones that the guitarist/percussionist has polished over the course of his career; it's a five-part suite that somehow manages to vibrate with lucidity and yet is completely encapsulated by a nearly unwavering rhythmic pulse (courtesy of Thomas Brinkmann's electronic percussion).
While the album is attributed to Ambarchi himself, it is in reality the result of over two years of synergistic work with a broad group of talented individuals: Brinkmann, pianist John Tillbury, drummer Matt Chamberlain, frequent associate Jim O'Rourke, violist/composer Eyvind Kang, tabla master U-zhaan, the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and Canadian sound artist Crys Cole. Quixotism is an exhilarating ride, from the extended fade-in introduction, through the bouncy percussion workout at mid-point, and onward to the snaking strings and electronics that lead to the album's conclusion. The complexity, the subtle dynamics and the overall propulsive pulse of the music all nod toward the grace, restraint and talent of a visionary musician with boundless inspiration backed up by a host of musically proficient friends. (Editions Mego)