By Raul Amador
on February 1, 2021
KoMaGa Trio, Foxing Hour…
KoMaGa Trio, Foxing Hour, featuring Michael Manring on bass.
I have always been blown away by Michael Manring’s solo bass playing but it is not surprising to hear how exquisite it is to hear him in collaboration with other musicians. The KoMaGa Trio is comprised of Michael on bass, Motoshi Kosako on harp, and Chris Garcia on tabla/percussion.
The trio brings a perfectly balanced approach to their performance and are so complementary to each other’s musical skills that the end result is a weave of patterns as intricate as gold filigree.
Each musician has ample opportunity to shine in the fabric of each tune. Michael’s bass work is simply extraordinary and impressive as always.
We are treated to eight unique, entirely instrumental tracks composed by Motoshi himself and they are a perfect fit for this trio. The blend of the harp with fretless bass, supported by a percussive element is superb.
This music may fit in a “New Age” genre but more important than a classification is the emotional richness that is conveyed.
One might choose to sit down with eyes closed, focus and enjoy the musical journey. I even found myself thinking about the fox and its particular point of view. I also discovered that listening while working was uplifting and inspiring. As a result, I’ve enjoyed the entire album multiple times and discover something new with each listening.
This album is perfect for bass fans but has universal appeal and is a strong recommend for everyone to hear.
By Neil VanderWerf
on 2020 12/12
KoMaGa Trio is made up of Japanese transplant to the USA, Motoshi Kosako (harp), and Americans Michael Manring (fretless electric bass), and Chris Garcia (tabla, percussion). All three are highly regarded in the jazz fusion and experimental music worlds. The trio first came together in 2016 and has performed periodically since. Foxing Hour is their first album together. The group blends jazz with multi-ethnic sounds to create something wholly original. Kosako leads the trio and composed the pieces but there is a whole lot of room left within the song structures for improvisation from all three players. I find the music meditative and rejuvenating.
By George W. Harris
on 2021 1/11
Here’s a uniquely impressionistic and creative debut album with the mix of harpist Motoshi Kosako, fretless bassist Michael Manring and percussionist/tablaist Chris Garcia on eight originals, the band’s name is derived from the first letter’s of each member’s last name, reflecting the unity and subtle cohesion of the album itself. . Kosako’s harp creates Bodhi tree reflections and mysticisms that work well with Manring’s electric bass on “Bailaora” and “Naked Wonder” while hints of vintage Pat Metheny are observed on the wondrous “Walking Into Open Land” as the three veer off and then coalesce in a delightful fashion. Likewise, “Alcyon” flows like a gentle stream, coaxed along by Garcia’s fingers. The strings get dainty like morning dew droplets on the evocative 11 minute opus “Hymn and Prelude-Distant Land” that makes you feel as if you’re on a reflective stroll, with some rich echoes created by Manring on the spacious and impressionistic “Foxing Hour” comes off like musical conversations of the soul. Cherry blossoms of sound.