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Ed Spargo: Ed Spargo (2006)

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Ed Spargo: Ed Spargo How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Bassist Ed Spargo titled his 1998 debut CD Invisible Man, a reference to the oftimes background relegation of his chosen instrument. He's not invisible on Ed Spargo; his bass is very much in the front line on this energetic jazz/fusion outing. Indeed, he even penned a tune entitled "Visible Man" for inclusion here, as if he's been chafing a bit about playing in the shadows.

The set falls decidedly into the fusion genre. With fusion, you think tight rhythm section and infectious grooves; and they're here, from beginning to end. Dino Govoni, on tenor sax, burns on four of the eight numbers, with a real sting in his sound, wound tight but still getting into some interesting improvisation, bringing Yellowjackets or Inside Out-era Chick Corea to mind; add some fluid keyboard/piano work from Steve Hunt and Brad Hatfield.

Spargo penned seven of the eight tunes, adding Wayne Shorter's "Beauty and the Beast," a hard-driving highlight. The leader's bass playing is propuslive and quite unique, often melodic, always busy, always laying a big fat full-of-energy foundation for the band to work off. On "Tina's Tune" he plays a beautiful guitar-like lead over drifting percussion. Elswhere, Spargo drives the music ahead in a high-octane, pedal-to-the-metal fusion fashion that allows room for some fine keyboard and saxophone improvisations.

Track Listing: To the Max; Agi; The Visible Man; Beauty and the Beast; Clumber Slumber; Tina's Tune; Caddy; Partido Nova.

Personnel: Ed Spargo: bass; Brad Hatfield, Steve Hunt, Matt Jensen: piano, keyboards; Dino Govoni: saxophone; Zac Casher: drums; John LaMoia: percussion; Dan Tarlow: drum loop (6); Tricia Kelly: vocal (8)

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


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