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December 2004

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ReR USA

Dimuzio is one of the few electro artists whose work and more importantly, methods of working can be traced back to roots in the '50s and '60s—in some ways accomplishing things that the masters only wished they could have accomplished. And although technology has allowed electronic music to proliferate, those who are truly advancing the art are comparatively few in numbers.

Bill Cobham's Culture Mix

Colours

IN + OUT Records

Billy Cobham's now legendary drumming prowess is highlighted here, however steel pan wizard Junior Gill remains at the forefront during this upbeat multicultural spin on jazz-fusion. Marked by breezy melodies, solid backbeats and a few blitzing time changes, this set conveys the totality of group-based camaraderie. Cobham ventures into turbo mode on occasion amid some wailing guitars, as Gil's steel pan work imparts a resplendent sheen throughout!

Mysterymen

Everything But An Answer

Diskob

Mysterymen hail from the U.K. And with this release, they strike an odd balance between pop-inflected techno/dance music complete with catchy themes and serious minded EFX implementations. They also sing through vocoders, translating into humanoid like vocal attributes. At the end of the day, the band conveys a great deal of magnetism alongside an irrefutably, congenial persona.

Greg Wall

Later Prophets

Tzadik

New York City saxophonist Greg Wall is a veteran of various downtown scene jazz-klezmer bands, among other projects. This delightful recording consists of spaced-out grooves, largely due to Shai Bachar's moody and ethereal synth-based ventures. Wall subliminally injects Jewish folk choruses into the grand scheme of things also featuring plaintive cries, foot-stomping beats and gobs of slanted imagery. At times bizarre, yet satisfyingly palpable and entertaining.

Ivo Perelman/Dominic Duval/Jackson Krall
Black On White

Clean Feed Records

Avant-garde tenor sax titan Ivo Perelman and the trio paint a stark picture while mimicking the album title. Nonetheless, intensity and sinuous rhythmic movements rule the roost here. Perelman blows hard via sequences of mammoth lines and soul-stirring sentiment. Moreover, Dominic Duval (bass) and Jackson Krall (drums) receive ample opportunities to extend or deconstruct various theme sequences.

Russell Gunn

Ethnomusicology Vol. 4: Live In Atlanta

Justin Time

Electric trumpeter Russell Gunn blends a touch of Miles Davis' plugged in era with a turntablist, percussion, keys, guitar and a rhythm section for this pumped up set. No doubt, Gunn is a vivacious performer who obviously doubles as a crowd pleaser here. The band skirts the jazz genre along with funk and other stylizations. Strong soloing adds to the excitement...

Bruno Råberg

Chryslalis

Orbis Music

Bassist/educator Bruno Råberg performs with top-flight East Coast jazz musicians, including world-renowned guitarist Mick Goodrick. Simply stated, this is Råberg's most compelling outing to date. Performing within a nonet, Råberg mans the helm with profoundly booming lines. But it's the bassist's captivating arrangements and melodic compositional attributes that elevate this program to lofty heights. Consider this wonderful album to be counted among the top 10 or 20 picks for 2004.

King's X

Live All Over The Place

Metal Blade Records

This hard rock trio has been a viable force for over twenty years. This 2-CD set highlights the group's live show featuring a quasi-unplugged series of pieces and a killer spin on Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression." The band intersperses elements of soul-funk into its arsenal, while also going for the proverbial jugular on occasion. And besides some silly teen-like stage banter, the musicians do transmit an affable and largely upbeat demeanor to complement their respectable chops.


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