Today’s album comes from Agori Tribe out of Memphis. Clocking in at an average of ten minutes, a track, this is a straight up jam album, founded in the basic elements of jazz, but with healthy doses of rock, blues, funk, and west-coast. The Hard Mountain Tradition is five tracks of complicated fusion that ultimately sounds very laid back and jam-like.
The Hard Mountain Tradition opens with “Sweet Naught Sour”. A piano motif sets the scene for the next nine minutes. Sean Naughton is on drums, and will have you tapping away at less than a minute in. The cymbals are raucous but not over-bearing, and his timing is spot-on. At just under two minutes in, the keys hit and the electric guitar gets to town. Twenty seconds later, we’ve got an organ. This is the kind of thing you’ve got to get used to, and the roller coaster ride still has six minutes to go. Very reminiscent to me of some of the longer tracks from these guys.
“…And Then I Saw A Universe” follows, and is more of a reggae/ska piece after an electric opening by Will Nicholls. David Collins and Dave Hash are on keys, and their work is busy but clean. Their slides are on point, their harmonies are enjoyable. “Lone Cock In The Field/Memories Of Childhood” follows, and is the album’s longest track at slightly over fifteen minutes. There is a more atmospheric quality here, set off by a clean, bluesy piano and chord progression that is somehow familiar, before moving into a rock ballad, then into a piano-driven folk-funk out, then into a sick piano and bass jam, featuring Jeffrey Naylor on bass, etc., etc.
I could go on about the rest of the third track, and the final two, but there is literally so much going on in this album that it’s not until many listens in that you begin to notice some of the subtleties and really appreciate them. This is an album that makes you want to see these guys live. Name your price and pick it up here.