It is always great to find albums that give a fresh perspective on genre conventions. You suddenly realize that the music you are hearing is a step forward in terms of sound and expression. Perfect Mold by Charles Xavieris such an album. Xavier’s unique blend of jazz and New Age music makes even old hits like Hey Jude and Blowing in the Wind sound fresh and revived. Can mold be perfect? The answer is YES!
Perfect Mold is released on Happy Note Records. Charles Xavier plays vibraphone, piano and selected percussion instruments. He has also done the engineering and mixing. It is mastered by Rainer Gembalczyk. Charles’ ambition is to create: “soothing but intriguing vibe, a kind of meditative soundscape.”
Outside genre conventions
Usually I try to avoid the What is New Age music-question because my answer seems to change from one time to the next. But when listening to Perfect Mold it is impossible not to ask; where is really the border between New Age music and jazz? Charles Xavier’s music shows how interesting and unexploded this borderland is. His melodic yet unmistakable jazzy approach make this massive 30 track collection into something remarkable.
I very much like the longer tracks, like Have a Happy, You Know You Know and Jewels. The songs have a build-up that suit the longer format. The album has a great, warm acoustic sound, and you can almost hear how the artist is having a great time in the studio.
Is Perfect Mold a jazz or New Age music album? The easy answer is jazz, but looking at our genre’s roots – for instance Tony Scott’s Music for Zen Meditation and other Joys (1964) – we hear how fascinating a fusion of jazz and New Age music can be. Charlie creates music much in the same way, outside genre conventions. The album will appeal to fans of world music, jazz, New Age music and classical.
Perfect Mold has been released today. Highly recommended!
Sample and buy the album on Bandcamp.