|Artist: Rick Cox|
Album: Maria Falling Away
Label: Cold Blue
Listening to Maria Falling Away by multi-instrumentalist Rick Cox is an immersing musical experience. This album is a free fantasy of timbre, harmony and mood - felt more as an atmosphere than as a vibration of tone. More than a creative reverb programmer, Cox is a master of his musical materials, commanding the form rather than allowing the form to command the music. Hence, his realizations are amorphous blurs of musical blush, yet deceptively linear in their construction. The fragile glissando, formal design, the warm guitar swells and interplay of muted color in his work reflect the inner life of the artist. The album fills rather than defines space - the subject dissolving into transparent layers and planes of sound. Yet on the track "Long Distance", Cox introduces an overt forward momentum as a drum loop churns beneath Jon Hassell's lilting trumpet melodies. Pianist Thomas Newman makes his presence known on "Beige 2" and, along with Cox's saxophone, brings resolve to an otherwise drifting and edgey interlude. The album concludes appropriately with "All The While Falling Toward Us II", which features the ample talents of Chas Smith on pedal steel guitar. But these are but a few of the elements which make up a greater whole. Maria Falling Away is an album of rare organic unity and brings to light Rick Cox's crucial role in preserving music as a living art form.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 19 May 2002
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