A drummer and composer whose music enthusiastically defies category, Sean Noonan prefers the title “Rhythmic Storyteller” – an apt description for a modern-day sonic griot who spins imaginative yarns in the ancient tradition of wandering minstrels while weaving captivating narrative tapestries via his unique polyrhythmic language. On Tan Man’s Hat, the second release by his harmolodic jazz-rock ensemble Pavees Dance, Noonan draws inspiration from the soul to the stars with his stunningly adventurous collaborators: original Can vocalist Malcolm Mooney, bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma (Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time), guitarist Ava Mendoza (Unnatural Ways) and keyboardist Alex Marcelo (Yusef Lateef).
Tan Man’s Hat confronts the listener with a vibrant, shocking swirl of sound, a dauntless tempest of varied influences: prog rock and avant-garde classical create sparks from clashes with harmolodic improvisation and African folk traditions, with jolting infusions of psychedelia and campfire tales. The band also thrives on its blend of generations, with experimental elders Mooney and Tacuma passing a still-blazing torch to their cutting-edge compatriots.
While Noonan’s “wandering folk” approach to collecting the stories of diverse cultural traditions spans the globe, the name of Pavees Dance is rooted in his own Irish heritage. Pavees are members of the Emerald Isle’s nomadic ethnic minority, traditionally occupied as traveling tinkers and craftsmen, skilled at crafting items from available materials – a gift shared by Noonan, whose distinctive compositions are a patchwork of eclectic inspirations made new and vital in his deft hands.
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