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Jazzmob: Infernal Machine (2008)

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Jazzmob: Infernal Machine How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

This isn't so much a recreation as it is a reinvestigation of the fusion genre in that brief period thirty odd years ago when the idea was rife with positive implications and before the sterility set in.

While this program isn't as radical in its departure from the norm as Miles Davis' music from that period was (what is?) it still burns with greater intensity than more established names seem to muster. Even on the relatively tranquil "One For Simmons" there is the kind of commitment that sprang from Charles Mingus' most worthwhile ensembles. The music seems to come in waves, the alto sax of Jon Klette and the tenor sax of Gisle Johansen in particular burning with the kind of urgency that would only be welcome if it was a lot more common than it is.

Stylistic diversity clearly isn't beyond the group either, as per the following "5th Horizon." Trumpeter Kare Nymark clearly knows the value of economy if his solo is anything to go by, whilst keyboard player Anders Aarum evokes the spirit of the Miles band that contained Keith Jarrett.

The enigmatically-titled "Segments Of Bird" comes on like the most worthwhile kind of incidental film music at first but repeated listening yields rewards that initially are far from apparent; it's an example of just how potent and tight this group is. They stay well on the right side of slickness too and that's never anything other than welcome; as much is borne out also by the title track, where that urgency of communication comes into its own again, albeit with a welcome tempering of restraint making for balance. The collective wailing of the horns takes the music to another level however, and the sheer nastiness of Aarum's electric piano sound that adds the paradoxically wrong yet profoundly right kind of patina.

It can always be cogently argued that some of the byways that music has gone down over the course of its evolution were abandoned too soon in the sense of being insufficiently explored. This program makes that point profoundly.

Track Listing: Pathfinder; Infernal Machine; Area 54; One For Simmons; 5th Horizon; Crossbreed; Segments Of Bird; Just Like That!; A Melody 4 You; Social Distortion.

Personnel: Kare Nymark: trumpet; Jon Klette: alto sax; Gisle Johansen: tenor sax; Anders Aarum: piano, electric piano, virus; Per Zanussi: bass; Andreas Bye: drums, percussion.

Record Label: Jazzaway

Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


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