Chicagoan bassist-producer Jason Wayne Sneed and Japanese great trumpeter Toshinori Kondo decided to work together on an album after meeting for a performance in Chicago in December 2019. The two musicians worked remotely, Sneed at Rabbit Hole Studio in Chicago, and Kondo at his Kondo Sound Body Lab in Kawasaki city in Japan, but several days after beginning to work on the album, Sneed received news that Kondo had passed away on October 17, 2020
Sneed already produced the original tracks with Kondo’s specific sound and personality in mind for «Guardians of the Most Cosmic Shrine», and decided to keep working on the album «This album truly has his spirit in it. While working on it, I felt him with me in the room and felt his energy surrounding me,» says Sneed.
The atmosphere of «Guardians of the Most Cosmic Shrine» is mournful and meditative, almost as an enigmatic, transcendental ceremony that evokes the restless, creative spirit of Kondo. Sneed, like Kondo, is a genre-blind musician-producer, and this album incorporates elements from deep-end dub, deep space, spiritual ambient, and sparks of fiery free jazz. It is clear that Kondo had not enough time to contribute fully to this project, and his brief segments of effects-laden electronic trumpet playing are sampled, manipulated and processed throughout this project. But Kondo was a one-of-a-kind musician with a unique, original voice, and listening to his trumpet voice, even it surfaces beyond the cosmic hyper-spaceways, is still a source for much-needed healing vibrations.
Jason Wayne Sneed (b, elec), Toshinori Kondo (tp, elec)