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Ken Serio: Live...In the Moment (2008)

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Ken Serio: Live...In the Moment How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Drummer Ken Serio has been skirting the indie environs for a number of years, scoring impressive dates with Ronnie Earl, Calvin Hill, Ken Wessell, Virginia Mayhew, and Vic Juris, the latter of whom joins Serio on his live outing Live...In the Moment.

Live ... in the Moment represents the essence of jazz: four musicians who generally do not play together join up in a club and, fueled simply by their respective chops, create an extended session of top-flight music. The two-CD set, recorded live at a Montclair, N.J. club, is full of mostly original material dominated by the bass of Mark Egan and guitars of Juris and Pete McCann, relegated to the left and right stereo channels respectively.

That is not to overlook the Serio's work, however, who produced the album and offers aggressive playing that drives the band in its rock-influenced work: The result is a noisy, rocking affair. Guitarists Juris and McCann take great glee in divining sounds from their electric instruments that they may have been making in their respective garages when they were teenagers.

The guitarists do this with the greatest sincerity, performing with a creative abandon that produces a bulldozer of sound and rhythm. Mark Egan, for his part, provides an elastic underpinning that allows the group to sway from side-to-side in its collective brand of swing. Egan is a master of producing the rhythmic burp from his five-string electric bass that pops with electricity.

In all of this, Serio thunders when he needs to and propels when called upon. It is obvious Serio is an educator; his chops are too well-informed. His playing is at once devastating and delicate. One would hope to hear this band again, perhaps under more structured circumstances. But then again, that may ruin the music.

Track Listing: CD1: Nigel's Dance; Big Blue Cars; Blue Lake; Frixin!; Grandma's House; 3 Way Mirror; Bean Town; Shenandoah; 1000 Words. CD2: I Wish I Never Met You; Sammy's Smile; Belluno Skies; Willamette Valley; The Return Of Doctor Zero; Purple Dream; Swunk; The Grouchy Sleeper; Tomorrow's Another Day; Eighty One.

Personnel: Ken Serio: drums and percussion; Vic Juris: guitar; Pete McCann: guitar; Mark Egan: bass.

Record Label: Tripping Tree Music

Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


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