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Robert Sabin: Killdozer (2006)

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Robert Sabin: Killdozer How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Killdozer is the collision of a warped (in a good way) jazz bassist with a free saxophonist and a purple-hazed hot guitarist. For those who already know bassist and educator Robert Sabin, this will come as no surprise. He's been involved in many projects in the New York music scene with Brain Spray, Spirit Gang and his own "avant goth electric neo jazz group, featured on this eponymous 2005 release.

Name your poison—jazz rock or punk jazz—but for all intents and purposes, this music crunches, swings and defies some conventional stereotypes. Call it what you want, it is very good. Band members include the young saxophonist John Rigby (last heard on this year's Translucent Space, Fresh Sound New Talent) and drummer Brian Griffin. Filling in the gap with some cosmic wizardry is a little-known guitar hero by the name of Mark Stanley.

The recording is short and to the point, with six meaty tracks for those who like their music with a kick. The driving opener, "Tourettes Guy, has a heavy bass riff, spastic solos, and sampled expletives from an irate dude on the edge. Sabin has jazz associations with bassists Harvie S(wartz) and Michael Formanek, and he plays an acoustic upright throughout the recording, pursuing both rock and jazz aesthetics.

On the title piece, Sabin opens with a woody bass solo, flexing as he leads the band into a few tempo changes with frenzied and skilled solos. Rigby's fluid clarinet and sax work on "Bob Takes a Nap and Griffin's intricate drumming throughout are both full of freedom. Stanley's guitar playing is exhilarating, bringing tripped-out distortion and effects to the groovy melody of "From the Underground and echo chorus sounds to "Red and Black.

Killdozer is as much substance as attitude. How else can you account for the wild cover of the James Bond theme song "Nobody Does It Better, from the movie The Spy Who Loved Me? It totally rocks.

Track Listing: Tourettes Guy; Notes From Underground; Killdozer; Evil Bob Takes A Nap; Red and Black; Nobody Does It Better.

Personnel: Robert Sabin: bass; Brian Griffin: drums; Jason Rigby: saxophones, clarinet; Mark Stanley: guitar.

Record Label: Ranula Music

Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


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