Review: Jack Foley
THE intentions of Dwight Trible's Love Is The Answer are
so worthy that it's difficult to criticise, since he genuinely
believes that love is the answer to cure the world's ills.
Sadly, the mix of Sixties-inspired avant garde and spiritual
jazz fused with modern hip-hop beats failed to inspire me as much
as it should.
The overdose of worthy sentiment becomes a little cloying, given
that several of the tracks are built around the same vocal loops
('try love', or 'love is music, peace is music' on Is Music),
and minimalist beats.
A lot of the material also sounds the same and is too jazz-based
rather than hip-hop friendly, ultimately failing to merge musical
mediums as well as it might.
It's a shame because Dwight Trible and The Life Force Trio are
signed to the Ninja Tunes label and boast a pretty heavyweight
Trible, himself, is a Los Angeles native who has worked with
everyone from Bobby Hutcherson and Charles Lloyd to Harry Belafonte.
He is the vocalist with the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet and the vocal
director for the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra
(an LA institution with a history stretching back 40 years).
Love Is The Answer marks his collaboration with the
multi-talented Carlos Nino (a fellow Ninja label-mate better known
who became so enthused by the power of Trible's vision that he
immediately set about making it possible to work together.
Hence, Love Is The Answer is packed with musical collaborations,
from former single, Euipoise, on which Sa-Ra revisits
80s synth-funk, to the boom-bap of The 10th Jewel, on
which Brother J of X-Clan fame lends his talent.
The mix seldom gels as well as it might, though, in my opinion,
emerging as one long self-important jamming session that fails
to produce many truly idiosyncratic moments.
The more straight-forward rap of I Was Born On Planet Rock
is a definite highlight, as is the slightly more urgent Musician's
Union, during which Ammoncontact contributes a more memorable
Scott Herren's satisfying piano loop provides a nice backdrop
to Constellations as well - but most of the highlights
arrived far too late to save the album for me.
It's a shame but I have to confess that this love-filled album
proved difficult for me to love.
Ammoncontact: One In An Infinity of Ways