While John Jeffrey is best known as the metronomic drummer of Moon Duo, his solo debut Passage emerges as the work of a deft multi-instrumentalist.

 

Recorded in a series of sessions at The Hive, with engineer Colin Stewart, he drew inspiration from the jazz principles of dynamism and improvisation. The singular spirituality of Alice Coltrane and the mist-veiled landscapes of Canadian painter Takao Tanabe. He approached each session as an experiment in a kind of anti-composition in which he sought to remove ego from the creative process and to reimagine the self as a channel for natural processes, rendered through music. Playing to the rhythms of something unseen - a hidden partner that made itself known only in the moment of contact.

The four shimmering instrumentals that compromise the album are like a landscape unto themselves. At once grounding and expansive, they defy easy categorization. There are no linear surfaces, only elemental processes that curve and weave, disappear and reappear; a detailed interplay of atmospheric synths and meditative rhythm evokes the motion of water, the momentary ray of light through tall trees. There is both beauty and mystery here - a quality just out of reach, that rewards close attention but does not pursue it.