Innovation manifests itself in intricate, particular ways, as it relies on a prior set of ideas in order to be fully appreciated. The idea of innovation is a manifestation of contrasting polarities and how they complement each other. In other words, forward-thinking ideas are only valued when compared to traditional ones. For example, an exemplary painting couldn’t be appreciated fully if there wasn’t a terrible painting to juxtapose the image.
The idea of innovation makes the existence of Search For the New Land
all the more spellbinding. The opening, self-titled track is a fifteen-minute monolith which plays upon expectation and harmony wonderfully. It continuously sucks the listener into a deeply introspective atmosphere, with shifting soundscapes that motivate profound reflection.The proceeds, although disguised as traditional hard bop, feature superior musicality and elements that provide for rich textures. Humor is exemplified on “The Joker,” Afro-Cuban feel is used on “Mr. Kenyatta,” nostalgia is personified on “Melancholee,” and the feeling of adventure is heard on “Morgan The Pirate.” Using the aforementioned raw emotion, what would alternatively be traditional hard bop acquires a majestic presence and humbling humanity.
It’s hard to think of a better sextet to play on Search For the New Land
. Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Grant Green, Herbie Hancock, Reggie Workman, and Billy Higgins put forth the performance of a lifetime. By their flawless synchronization as a group, they manage to seamlessly explore harmonic and rhythmic concepts and create melodic phrases that are absolute gold. The ideas are even more complemented by the group’s soloing, in which every member proves to be not only technically proficient but highly mature, prioritizing the music before self-indulgence. Plus, their frequent shift in moods using chordal/modal harmony makes the tracks acquire a feeling of wonder and awe, as darkness is played with to create a spectral aura like no other.
Search For the New Land
is the perfect merge of all elements that make jazz as wonderful as it is. It is one of the rare moments everything lined up for a perfect record to be made, and one of jazz’s finest hours. May the new land be rejoiced, and may we all cherish it forever.