Mole: What’s The Meaning?

Catching Mole’s well-bred record.

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With its irregular stepping stone-like intervals and hushed cymbal work, the tumbling theme opening this album offers residual echoes of contemplative late-period Gilgamesh and, in contrast, the heady, exuberant rush of a pre-electric Return To Forever. Centred upon Mexican pianist Mark Aanderud’s admirably supple compositions, Mole’s intelligent blend of rock-tinged jazz is fleet of finger and foot, while avoiding fusion’s more vulgar exhibitionist tendencies.

David Gilmore’s guitar moves sleekly from supportive luminescent chimes to jagged thrusting lines that weave smartly across tight-knitted grooves supplied by Hernan Hecht’s inventive drumming. Atop these refined and often intricate pieces, Aanderud’s soloing, with its carefully judged melodic construction is a joy to listen to.

Seemingly composed from melancholic rain-washed memories and an unrequited longing, Trees And The Old New Ones showcase’s the delicate tracery of Luri Molina’s bowed bass.

Mole possess a magical chemistry that’s commonly found in improvisatory circles, but rarely is it so effortlessly sustained across an entire album. Haunting and magnificent.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.