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From the Inside Out

Fusion Groovin’

By Published: July 13, 2013
"Middle Passage Suite" is a three-part meditation inspired by Middle Passage (Atheneum Publishers, 1990), Charles Johnson's historic novel about the final voyage of a slave ship in 1830. Each part expands in scope and vision, from two to nearly 13 minutes. "Part II: For Those of Us That Didn't Make It" grows from a small brooding piano figure into an exotic, dark sound of percussion, bass and trumpet. Watts quickly detonates the quiet bass solo that opens "Part III: For Those of Us Still Here" into a landslide of tumbling rhythm; Maupin's soprano soars, caught in the updraft of Hurst's tumult. "Middle Passage Suite" writes an adventure as deep and far-out as any Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane
1937 - 2007
piano
or Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Sanders
b.1940
saxophone
travelogue.

BoB's two closing tunes wrestle the jazz-funk monster down: Hurst's bass thrashes and flails "Indiscreet in da Street" like a raging Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
; the rhythm section plays so strong that it nearly overwhelms this tune, which seems to smolder down to ash as it fades. "Jamming—a.k.a. Ichabod" kicks out an old-school New Orleans funk party, as Hurst's bass and Watts's snare drum stretch their shared pulses out into elastic time, informed by both James Brown
James Brown
James Brown
1933 - 2006
vocalist
and Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
—more accurately, informed by James Brown through Miles Davis. "Jamming" is a powerful ending to a great set.

BoB: a palindrome was actually recorded in 2001, and some tracks were originally written as far back as 1985. Even so, it sounds like it could have been recorded tomorrow.

Dictionary 2

Ligro

Dictionary 2

MoonJune Records

2012

Recorded in Jakarta (Indonesia) in 2011, Dictionary 2 presents the first international release from one of Indonesia's most acclaimed jazz-rock fusion trios: Drummer/percussionist Gusti Hendy, bassist Adi Darmawan and guitarist Agam Hanzah. (Hendy doubles as a member of Indonesia's pop-rock sensations GIGI.)

Dictionary 2 burns with enough kinetic energy to traverse the entire distance of Ligro's unique "east meets west" jazz-rock guitar fusion, which sounds strongly influenced by Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp
b.1946
guitar
and Bill Bruford
Bill Bruford
Bill Bruford
b.1949
drums
, and their progressive guitar and drum work in King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson

band/orchestra
, plus metallic fragments of guitarists John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
b.1942
guitar
and Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
b.1944
guitar
. But Dictionary 2 is no historical or musical textbook. Guitarist Hanzah plays as much as each song needs (and sometimes more); with each song a guitar jam, the tunes sort of melt into each other and cumulatively build Dictionary 2 into a guitarist's dream.

Written to honor the departed trumpeter, "Miles Away" kicks a limber groove which Hanzah's guitar spikes upon jagged funk riffs and then slowly turns inside out. Darmawan opens "Stravinsky (with Bach intro)," Ligro's variation on Stravinsky's "An Easy Piece Using Five Notes," with an enchanting solo bass Bach meditation, while Hendy drums with a combination of power and fluidity heard in few drummers other than Bruford.

"Etude Indienne" exhaustively explores Ligro's "east meets west" instrumental horizons: Hanzah's guitar intro casts McLaughlin's style in the sound of grunge before the trio settles into the rhythmic feel of an open rock raga, pulses more than beats, pulses which bubble and crest into waves of melody and rhythm. "Transparansi" opens with a bright, airy percussion and guitar discussion before the trio breaks up the entire structure down to its foundation.

"Future" and "Don Juan" attune more closely to the groove. Ligro's "Future" revels in a biting, edgy sound that flows from blues to progressive jazz-rock without adapting much structure from either. "Don Juan" finally backs off the throttle, and Hanzah chops out guitar chords that settle into a more relaxed and roomy feeling than the compressed, kinetic action throughout the rest of Dictionary 2.

Wings of Love Inspiration Information

Shuggie Otis

Inspiration Information / Wings of Love

Epic/Legacy

2013


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