Groundswell (MoonJune Records MJR 066)

Moraine: Groundswell
MoonJune Records MJR066

1.   Mustardseed (3:11) (Daniel Barry)Spacer
2.   Skein (3:52) (Dennis Rea)
3.   Fountain of Euthanasia (3:25) (Alicia DeJoie)
4.   Gnashville (4:12) (Dennis Rea)
5.   In That Distant Place (6:20) (Jon Davis)
6.   Synecdoche (3:52) (James DeJoie)
7.   The Earth Is an Atom (5:12) (Alicia DeJoie)
8.   Waylaid (7:20) (Dennis Rea)
9.   Spiritual Gatecrasher (7:18) (James DeJoie)
10. The Okanogan Lobe (7:41) (Dennis Rea)
ALICIA DeJOIE: electric violin
JAMES DeJOIE: baritone saxophone, flute
KEVIN MILLARD: NS stick bass
DENNIS REA: guitar, electronic interventions, Mellotron
TOM ZGONC: drums

Engineered by Steve Fisk at Sound House, Seattle, November 2014
Studio assist: Mike Sebring, Nick Shadel

Mixed by Steve Fisk at Arundel Gardens, Seattle

Mastered by Huntley Miller at HM Mastering, Minneapolis

Produced by Dennis Rea and Steve Fisk

Executive Producer: Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Records

Cover photograph of Tristan da Cunha from space courtesy NASA
Moraine photos by Helaine Burch & Danette Davis

Cover design by Aleksandr

Liner notes by Glenn Astarita

Love and gratitude to Daniel Barry, Jon Davis, Steve Fisk, Leonardo Pavkovic, John McGuire, Glenn Astarita, Jack Endino (and KC in absentia), Greg Williamson / Greedtone, Alaina Allen, David Gaines...
...and Morainiacs everywhere

(c)(r) Moraine & MoonJune Records 2014


MoonJune Records press release

Moraine's most recent metamorphosis highlights their recurring theme of unbridled invention -- undeterred by convention and delivered convincingly, with abandon! Brushing aside all preconception, Dennis Rea and company courageously initiate proceedings from a place to which most modern progressive bands can only dream of ascending. Featuring a host of engaging new originals as well as pieces written for the band by composers Daniel Barry and Jon Davis, Groundswell is certain to cement the band’s standing as a singular voice like no other in the modern progressive jazz-rock continuum.

Building on the momentum generated by their previous releases for MoonJune Records, Moraine draws from the more exotic facets of the avant-garde and fusion equations. (Their critically-heralded debut, 2009's manifest deNsity (MJR028), and 2012's spectacular follow-up, Metamorphic Rock: Live at NEARfest (MJR040), garnered hundreds of glowing reviews worldwide -- earning the band a diverse following ranging from jazz aficionados to metalheads to world-music enthusiasts and beyond.) Moments of "early-Crimsonesque" intensity are often balanced out by a more Eastern approach to melody, arrangement, and ensemble delivery; the music is delightfully fresh and unpredictable throughout. Brilliant compositions decorated by powerful themes, sudden shifts, sensitive group dynamics, and fiery solo excursions dominate this session, as Moraine reveals a more psychedelic vibe, while remaining collectively and steadfastly plugged into the magic of the moment at hand.

Lovers of the best offerings from the RIO, classic fusion, prog rock, avant garde, progressive jazz, free jazz, and Eastern music genres will all find plenty to sink their teeth into here -- but that only starts to penetrate the surface of this delectable amalgamation. All of the band's components -- leader/guitarist Rea, violinist Alicia DeJoie, saxophonist/flautist James DeJoie, bassist Kevin Millard, and the band's newest addition, seasoned veteran drummer Tom Zgonc -- are in peak form, playing in highly inspired fashion, on this very special outing.

Groundswell is one of the most ambitious, far-reaching albums from the progressive genre this year. This is "brave new fusion" - as its title might infer, this one is destined to leave a mark!

Critical praise for Moraine's Groundswell

"Groundswell marks Moraine’s triumphant return to the progressive rock fray. The band successfully weave their diverse influences together in a seamless whole that highlights their uniqueness with every twist and turn of the music. Moraine are among the foremost standard-bearers of a modern form of jazz-rock that yearns to break free from the ponderous heritage of the Seventies. A near-perfect blend of lyricism, atmosphere and raw energy, Groundswell embodies, in many ways, the modern progressive ethos. Highly recommended to all open-minded prog listeners, this is essential listening for lovers of instrumental progressive rock." – Raffaella Berry, Fire of Unknown Origin (complete review)

"How best to describe the new album Groundswell from fusion group Moraine on MoonJune Records? If a gun were held to my head, I'd call this music 'grunge jazz-rock swing.' If not, I'd call it really good and well worth your time." – Walter Kolosky- author of Power, Passion and Beauty: The Story of the Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra

"a powerful and organic sound that is, intentionally or not, determinedly iconoclastic, and singular in its vision" – Roger Trenwith, The Progressive Aspect (UK)

"Groundswell is a new catalog of exquisite sonic adventures that greatly dignify the contemporary progressive scene." – Cesar Inca Mendoza Loyola, Autopoeitican (Peru)

"a shockingly good post-Gong art rock collection that one hardly finds nowadays ... undoubtedly one of the albums of the year." – Laertis, Wild Thing (Greece)

"manages to breathe new life into the progressive genre visited by jazz musicians" – Francois Becquart, Music in Belgium (Belgium)

"This may well be the most impressive of their albums in terms of a cohesive original group sound. It is a beautiful listen and will be welcomed by all prog-fuse enthusiasts." – Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Guitar & Bass Blog (USA)

"...a 10-course feast of instrumental work that will set you back on your feet after first knocking you off them." – Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (USA)

(5 stars) "The playing on this album is nothing short of mesmerizing. Each musician is extremely proficient on their instrument, making the whole one big ball of energized power. These tracks seem to be inspired by 1970s progressive rock bands of the past, but the overall sound is twenty-first century all the way. ... Groundswell is one mind boggling experience that will leave you craving for more. ... Wild and trippy stuff. Top pick."babysue (USA)

"Few bands have come out of nowhere to surprise me like Moraine ... Groundswell, in my opinion, is a huge album for Moraine, marking a step forward in their songwriting as well as capturing the magic on a studio recording" – Matt DiGiordano, Progulator (USA)

"On its third CD, Moraine achieves what many fusion groups only talk about – melding rock and jazz into music built from the best elements of both. The rhythm section on Groundswell is tough yet supple, the improvisations are fluid yet often deliver the crunch and shove of metallic rock." – David Luhrssen, Milwaukee Shepherd Express (USA)

" This Seattle based five-piece is evolving by leaps and bounds with each new release, and Groundswell offers ample evidence of this growth. ... Measure by measure, this is an outstanding group of players and composers that impress at every level." – Peter Thelen, Expose (USA)

"The mix of sounds here is pretty amazing. From heaviness like Giant Squid and King Crimson to jazzy sounds, psychedelia and even classical music, this is diverse. ... a really great album." – G.W. Hill, Music Street Journal (USA)

"mind-blowing, challenging ...  A big hats off!" – Zachary Nathanson, Music from the Other Side of the Room (USA)

"a masterful blend, creating a unique sound world" – Czékus Mihály, HFP (Hungary)

"when you meet something really fresh and original, it is a real treat. Such for me is Groundswell ... Moraine's music combines the best harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic features of good old jazz-rock and prog-rock a la Soft Machine, King Crimson, and Van der Graaf Generator, spiced with exotic ethnic elements." – Leonid Auskern, Jazz Quad (Russia)

 "Groundswell comes across as a breath of fresh air for me. Vibrant and engaging instrumental music that explores the contrast between frail, light toned and delicate instrument details and dark ominous motifs quite nicely, and does so within a jazz rock or fusion framework that allows for room to add some unexpected twists and details here and there. Strong moods and atmospheres are key features, and those who enjoy instrumental fusion liberally flavored with foreboding atmospheres and a touch of the unexpected here and there should take the time to give this CD an inspection." – Olav M Bjornsen, ProgressoR (Uzbekistan)

"...delightfully fresh and unpredictable in almost every way. The compositions are well-built, with long developmental sections and sudden changes. A noticeable dynamic and somewhat bucolic magic permeates the sound of this band" – I. Ortega, Distrito Jazz (Spain)

"this instrumental gem will abduct you, overwhelm you, and take you away, giving one thrill after another ... [a] majestic journey without boundaries" – Silvia Giuliani, Arlequins (Italy)

"...unlike some of their brethren, Moraine knows when to rein it in, to be concise, and end a song when it ought to be done. Plenty of sharp, clever, frequently passionate playing (but never for its own sake), punchy dynamics, and a soupçon of subtlety—what more does one need from a prog platter?" – Mark Keresman, Icon (Philadelphia)

"...the band never throws in the unusual just for the sake of being different. All of the uniqueness has a place and you get halfway through the album and never once think where are the vocals? ... as long as the music present is this inventive and illuminating, words will never be missed" – Rob Hudson, Modmove (Australia)

"One of this year’s top CDs in prog rock in its widest definition" – Monsieur Delire (Quebec)

"For listeners wanting to venture into the unconventional, Moraine just might be the ticket you are searching for." – Jon Neudorf, Sea of Tranquility (Canada)

"Moraine’s musicians always doggedly drive the epicenter toward the next place, pushing forward with an insistent urgency ... Moraine is able to lift the humble listener from the most ordinary of starting points to far-off regions simply by changing musical gears mid-stream in a song" – Carol Banks Weber, (USA)