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I AM is the Duo of Isaiah Collier on Sax and Michael Shekwoaga Ode on drums. Following the acclaimed Cosmic Transitions project, Beyond was recorded in one take with one concept, to go beyond the perceived creative and physical limitations that are placed on music. > > This album serves as a spiritual sound collage. The introduction of the album has a similar feel to Cosmic Transitions with Sound Healing Therapist/Qi Gong Shifu Jimmy Chan opening the gates to the portal of this Beyond album. From the first tones of the Tibet singing bells, chants, gong blast and other ancient instruments, Beyond takes its listeners through the minds of saxophonist Collier and Percussionist Ode, as they explore the music with a freedom that only comes with mastery of not simply their instruments but their musical communication. Perhaps some divine connection between the two who share the Gemini sign. > Which brings them into the album on the song “Suns Of Mercury” where you hear Jimmy faintly ask if the engineer “Did you get any of that” as Collier begins to take flight on horn with Ode slowly building up with the low rumble of drums. The album as a whole has moments of dramatic build ups and break downs. With an energy that might lure die hard Metal and Hardcore fans to listen. > > I AM Beyond is more then simply another free jazz album. The performers drift between Jazz, eastern music, funk, avant grade, blues, rock, and West African like polyrhythms. Collier performances with a controlled fury which highlights the connection music has to all things. Collier playing is like a fiery torch used to weld metals, throughout the album. Leading with hard, haunting, yet precise riffs, Collier zig zags between Ode’s rumbling and thunderous drums. Michael who studied under Billy Hart taps into his earliest understandings of percussion and his Nigerian roots to communicate seemingly telepathically with Isaiah. > Collier’s spiraling melodic approach is driven further on this recording with his use of circular breathing, as he seems to drift between realms of consciousness. Adding to the psychedelic flow of the album, as the duo bend and stretch time, notes, and minds. Michaels drumming feels inspired by Tony Williams and Elvin Jones, but half through this album we find that Ode has his own very distinct sound as he manages the multi-toned drum techinque. I AM Beyond is an affirmation by Isaiah and Michael that there are further places to explore in sound and consciousness.