Atlas Maior is the Austin, Texas-based band that matches Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics with the modal system of Arab and Turkish maqamat. The Hadal EP features four compositions by Atlas Maior’s col-leaders – oud player Josh Peters and alto sax player Joshua Thomson (known for his work with Ingebrigt). The band also features two drummers – Aaron Parks and Stefan Del Bosque and double bass player Tarik Hassan.
Hadal opens with the propulsive «Basalt», penned by Thomson, heavily influenced by Coleman and employs the rhythmic system arda janubian from Saudia Arabia with a touch of Brazilian samba, but flows organically and feels at home with the expansive scenic imagery of the southwest United States. The following «Ignis Fatuus» and the title piece were conceptualized as two movements of one piece, the first one is more introspective and lyrical while the latter one is seductive and playful and uses the ayyala bahriya rhythmic system of the United Arab Emirates. This beautiful album is concluded with «Fata Morgana», equally inspired by New York’s Loft Jazz of the 1970s, and the Afrofuturist musings of sax player Faruq Z. Bey in the 1980s, fully incorporating the oud into free jazz, and now swinging with Ghanaian highlife pulse.
Thomason plays with another of Håker Flaten’s comrades, The Young Mothers’ guitarist Jonathan Horne. Their duo album Clandestine Flower is a set of 14 intimate and short, inquisitive and introspective, free improvised emotional statements, played within a giant industrial tank in Texas. These pieces are meditative and pensive, offering a kind of dream-like, sparse and economic ambient jazz, but also highlight the experimental side of Horne and Thomson and their sonic explorations as well as their natural affinity, all inside this unique space. The album is released on a limited edition of 75 cassettes with the artwork of Dion Thomson and a download option.
Josh Peters (oud), Aaron Parks (drums), Stefan Del Bosque (drums), Tarik Hassan (double bass), Joshua Thomson (alto saxophone), Jonathan Horne (guitar)