A wildly adventurous, genre-busting and insanely tribal and percussive jam session, Miguel Kertsman’s perfectly titled album In the Moment represents the after-business hours unleashing of all the frenetic musical energy (sometimes jazzy and Brazilian, often avant-garde but also at times quite melodic) a highly acclaimed classical composer and game, film and TV composer has been storing up while working on commissions and paid assignments.
The “Clark Kent” version of the prolific keyboardist/composer has written pieces performed by the London Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Chamber Orchestra. In addition to recording contemporary classical albums, Miguel’s solo discography includes prog-rock, jazz fusion, world music, analog electronica and game music soundtracks. Vibing with freewheeling spontaneity with the explosive drummer Ernie Adams – who, incredibly the keyboardist had never worked with before – Kertsman does his best to incorporate all those styles (and surely others) with dynamic abandon over the course of seven tracks and nearly 40 minutes.
Oh, yes, we should mention, just because it’s so dang impressive and ear popping, that the recordings are all single take, minimally microphoned and captured on two track analog recording tape. From the breakneck speed of sound defying old school keyboard explosion “Driven” through the raw garage rock symphonic boom and spacey synth animated “Fusion,” the duo take us on a journey that’s ultimately perhaps too creatively expansive and over the top to be confined to any specific genre (except maybe contemporary instrumental).
Though there’s lots of “feel the need for speed” tracks – check out the breathtakingly manic “Acid Blues Pop,” for one – listeners who can’t take all that sonic insanity can chill a bit with the trippy, exotic mid-tempo hypnosis of “East West” and the charming, dare we say romantic, but still busting coolness of the most hummable tune on the set, “Ipanema Love.” In the Moment is ultimately a spirited joyride showcasing Kertsman’s multitude of talents as a composer, performer and synthesist.
While it’s more a player’s album than a release popping with commercial considerations, that seems to be the point. However the listener and marketers label it to sell it, ultimately, it’s a master at work, doing everything he’s ever done mixed with everything he’s ever wanted to do!