Published on 11th November 2018
Morgan and the Mountain – Pieces of Cadence
Singer/songwriter Morgan Thomas treats our imagination to a peregrination through jungles, deserts, and mountains in this rather lovely instrumental album entitled Pieces of Cadence. Using well played acoustic, a Howe-esque clean electric, and some subtle drumming with percussion, the music literally weaves in and out of the locations it depicts.
The Horse With No Name styled opener is called The Rattling Mongoose, but it’s more of a Roy Rogers canter than a filiform carnivorous scamper, subtle percussion, lower string riffing with gentle picking – this album is going to be an enjoyable listen.
Lydianland begins the jazz stylings that this music has in abundance, contrasting a medium paced ramble with what could be called a mini chase sequence then back to a “phew” state of insouciance. Instrumental music needs repeat listens to understand the story and this piece is a great part of the trek.
The sound of an electric guitar just amped along with equestrian bongos layered with a strummy acoustic mark out Acceptember, there’s a dreamscape middle section, and then back again – shades of Sky (the band AND the big blue bit above us) finish this…
A brief stop At The Stream of Consciousness then track five opens that saved tin of curry to celebrate how far they’ve come. This “Raga” has the acoustic spiced up with a side dish of tabla and the Indian scale really depicts the heat and dryness of the big sandy landscape. Suitably sustained, the protagonists Chalkin’ It Up The Mountain with some very fine lead guitar at the end before a shimmering fx pad takes us inside the rock with the seventh track.
Shadow Cat is all quirky time signatured jazz, great musicianship here and it’s a real toe tapper with drummer Matt Johnson proving what a good choice of travelling companion he was, hints of Steve Gadd in the days of the Steely Dan.
The album slows down as it and the Safari approach the finish line which ends with the downward inflection of Raga 2 – The Sun Sets. The Asian musical scale again causes underarm dampness and the listener is left with a feeling of languor and tranquillity.
With no words to tell the tale, besides the descriptions in the titles, this album does what it has set out to do which is take you meandering between continents and countries. It is surprisingly complex but comes across as an easy listen combined with an ultimately rewarding experience. It is music to stare at your speakers to and as a background curtain – a good trick to pull off, well played Morgan.
01. The Rattling Mongoose (into the jungle) (4:26)
02. Lydianland (in the depths of the jungle) (6:11)
03. Acceptember (through the meadow/sun through the canopy) (7:19)
04. At The Stream Of Consciousness (a stop in tranquility/birth of institution) (2:55)
05. Raga 1 – Across The Sand (a journey through the heat of day) (4:02)
06. Chalkin’ It Up the Mountain (an upward climb) (5:13)
07. In The Hall Of Stone (inside the mountain) (2:35)
08. Shadow Cat (follow through the cave) (3:25)
09. The Wild Dancing Spirit (For Kenna) (a guide through the darkness) (3:06)
10. As the Forest Shadows Grow (from atop the mountain/fading light) (4:11)
11. Raga 2 – The Sun Sets (end of the journey/the great cadence) (5:40)
Total Time – 44:37
Morgan Thomas – Guitar, Vocal
Matt Johnson – Drums, Percussion (tracks 1,2,6,8 & 10)
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 10th August 2018