Kush: Streams of Consciousness: Volume One (2006)
The music on this first volume of Streams of Consciousness was inspired by sixty hours of live recordings of Kush's 2003-4 gigs at Toronto's Potato Blues Supper Club. The quartet, which has been nominated for Group of the Year by Canada's Smooth Jazz Awards, pursues a smooth, jazz-fusion contemporary sound, using loops and samples to provide a breezy ambient-electronic touch. Trumpeter Bryden Baird serves as the prime soloist, entrenching his muted lines within warmly stated proclamations atop snappy backbeats. The ensemble's modus operandi might suggest that it's in no rush to get from point A to point B. And unlike many other offerings of this ilk, effects are used for a layered approach, allowing a delicate wall of sound to morph into a grand scenario. This endeavor is not tainted with an overabundance of wantonly exercised digital processes.
Baird and keyboardist Eddie Bullen engage in lightly soaring choruses solo atop medium-paced grooves laced with jazz-funk undercurrents. The band paints multihued and mood-evoking dreamscapes, all embedded within motifs regenerated from primary melodies. They don't re-engineer the road frequently traveled. However, the quartet's strength resides within its gently tempered movements and ability to portray a scenic musical portrait, solidified with an upbeat rationale.
Track Listing: Sweet 1 - 7.
Personnel: Etric Lyons: samples; Robert Sibony: drums, percussion, programming; Eddie Bullen: keyboards; Bryden Baird: trumpet.