The forward-looking sextet Knu Gmoon is lead by New Jersey native and bassist Noah Jarrett. His eclectic musical background finds great summation in his compositions and the ensemble’s love of his vision is well displayed in their artful renderings. A graduate of the New England conservatory, Jarrett’s previous work includes playing with John Abercrombie, George Garzone, and Bill Goodwin.The ensemble’s instrumental colors are clearly balanced, but more particularly it is the members’ abilities to reflect and produce an apparition of openness within softly bordered confines that sets this music apart from run of the mill fare. The collection of musicians are all young up and comers who are worthy and deserving of being overnight sensations, especially now that many of them have worked for so long in assisting capacities with a variety of New York’s best musicians. With Tony Barba on saxophone and flute, Loren Stillman on alto saxophone and flute, Mike Gamble on guitars, Rohin Khemani on tabla and drums and Rich Stein on percussion, the overall sound is not unlike some of the early "Downtown" music experimented with back before Bill Frisell and John Zorn and their work gained wider notoriety.
What Gnu Moon really encompasses is not necessarily built on individual accomplishes, though without this group of intuitive musicians it’s hard to imagine results as stellar and sublime as these. On "Remiss," for example, solos are not so much pitted against ensemble lines as they are used as coloring to said lines. The slight pull and push of shifting feels renders "Murmer/Shout" as a translucent amorphous living and breathing entity devoid of pretention.
While all the musicians create standout performances, it’s their interaction that amazes. Loren Stillman’s off-kilter rhythmic punctuations embed "Mental Custodian" with poignant moments as the drive and light yet persuasive groove relentlessly pushes forward. Mike Gamble’s guitar work throughout the disc achieves a cleanly picturesque countenance so often negated by less worthy artists that one wonders if other guitars are even aware of how musical their instrument can sound. His light single note lines remind one of Bach inventions carried forward in time to today.
Jarrett’s bass work is solid, but by the time the last notes of "Reminiscience" are heard, one can’t help but realize it’s in his compositions and musical visualizations that Jarrett’s genius lies. Music of this kind of delight is hard to categorize and thankfully so as too much of today is the marketing of sounds. While the disc may be short on length, it’s not short on thought. Here’s hoping for more and more work from this creative collection of supple and visionistic collective.