Thanks to David Mead's flute playing, "The Black," Black Stitch in Eternity's opener, could be part of the soundtrack to an early-'60s Japanese ghost movie. Elsewhere, "Weight for Dusk" introduces the tenor sax and recalls the hard bop of late-'50s jazz figures, while "Rotting Cage" displays Mead's deeper roots in both twentieth-century classical music and the avant-garde, evoking Sun City Girls and Angels of Light with its world-weary vocals and quiet intensity. The throat singing and bass clarinet warble of the title track is like Mead's evocation of a Zen koan, and, employing the shakuhachi on "Sorrow's Vine" and "Vine's Grip," he blends the spiritual-music traditions of Japan and south Asia with jazz.
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