Tashi Dorji / Ian McColm / Frank Meadows “The Power of Water”

There is never a time where I am not excited to listen to Tashi Dorji play. He’s one of my favorite guitarists on the planet and, especially the past year, a whole slew of collaborations he’s involved in have appeared and, frankly, the world is better for it. On The Power of Water he joins up with longtime pals Frank Meadows on double bass and Ian McColm on percussion. The resulting session is a distinct and interconnected labyrinth.

Throughout The Power of Water I am drawn to empty air. Dorji, McColm, and Meadows leave plenty of space for their collective sound to intermingle and hang, breathing in ways that are surprising and luminescent. “Horizon Point – A Pinprick” alternates between forlorn and tense, Meadows bowed bass adding emotional depth as Dorji plucks through different shapes and patterns. Similar affectations return on closer “We Are Dancing,” though the tension is cranked up as Dorji and McColm scatter rivers of sound across the scratching bass drones beneath.

Texture is the name of the game throughout The Power of Water as the trio uses a fairly minimal palette and creates an incredible, dense array of sounds. “The Only Game In Town” flits between Meadows’ bass grooves and the scratch and clink of guitar and percussion and “Night Brings Advice” sounds like the end of the line for some old machine, splitting apart and clattering around the pavement. The interplay between all three is loose, again letting the space stretch out as the sonic debris eventually comes to rest. The Power of Water is such an interesting match and a good place to lose yourself for a little while.