CD Title: Vegir
Label: MoonJune Records (2018)
Rating: Inventive and Adventurous music not for the faint of heart
For those unfamiliar with the name Vantomme this is the music of Belgian based keyboardist and composer Dominique Vantomme whose musical history lies solidly in the jazz arena. The music on Vegir was inspired by seeing a Stick Man concert back in 2016 and so it’s not surprising the music here features Tony Levin on bass guitar and Chapman stick. The spirit of the music on Vegir dances between Jazz, Jazz-Fusion and a healthy dose of spacey Avant-Prog. There’s a full seventy-four minutes of music here all structured around eight long-ish instrumental compositions. Regardless of each song’s specific genre direction you can expect to hear plenty of musical change-ups and shifts in musical direction. Take a tune like “Sizzurp” [10:47] that starts out in a rather groovy, rhythmic, rock-mode for the first two minutes and then goes completely off the rails at around the three minute mark, becoming angular and discordant. Then at the five-minute mark we get searing, jagged guitar lead lines, then the tune’s original bass and drum rhythmic foundation slowly reappears under the guitar work all softly supported by some spacious keyboard work. The guitar drops out of the spotlight at the seven minute mark replaced by some traveling bass work and soft keyboards, and, well, I’m sure you get the picture. Each tune follows a similar trajectory. You never know where you’ll end up but it’s an intriguing journey getting there. This is inventive and adventurous music not for the faint of heart.