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Wings of the Mind by Johnny Katchoolik

Johnny Katchoolik describes himself as an independent recording musician and composer. He began playing the guitar but eventually learned the bass, keyboard, percussion and electronic instruments as well. His self-produced and released CD, Wings of the Mind, is a rather unique collection of sounds and grooves. He describes it as a collection of more recent sonic explorations and moods. It was all recorded on a Mac in his home studio. While it doesn’t explicitly state, one can assume he plays all the instruments and electronic sounds on the recording (there is no list of instruments employed or who plays them).

It is as a guitarist Katchoolik stands out. He has technique, fluidity, a well-defined style and plays enjoyable lines within his improvisations. The eclectic nature of the disc is immediately apparent on the disc’s first cut, "F2Y." To open the recording a good guitar solo over a nice rhythm section groove is interrupted occasionally by a-cappella out of time solo tenor saxophone sounding statements (they could be synthesized). The disc’s second cut, "Lonely I Stand," has an almost Hawaiian sounding feel before it too has rhythmic variety, in the form of almost double-time like rhythmic inserts, used to break up the flow. The closest music to describe the manner in which Katchoolik keeps avoiding anything resembling an extended groove or meter pattern is the way Auracle used to always keep listeners on their toes.

One tune that really plays this up is "Wings of the Mind." There are a myriad of style, time and meter changes, including a quasi-marchlike section. The synthesized tuba, trumpet and accordion sounds almost feel out of place, but when you consider all of the quick changes the music goes through, they don’t.

The rest of the disc is similar to that already described. Different sounds, different grooves, all tumbling on top of each other. There are so many changes in each piece they, over time, almost tend to compete with each other from tune to tune. In his liner notes Katchoolik writes, "Dare to be different. Be true to your inner self!" On this recording that is certainly true. It's hard to fault a guy for following his own muse.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Johnny Katchoolik
  • CD Title: Wings of the Mind
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Self-Released
  • Tracks: F2Y, Lonely I Stand, Wings Of Teh Mind, Johnny Ramen, Airto, Wisdom Tooth, Kashew, Odeon Casino, Nutmeg, Walk On Water, Sometimes, Terminal 720, River, All Over Again and Feeding Tube
  • Musicians: Johnny Katchoolik (all instruments)
  • Rating: One Star
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