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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

McGill / Manring / Stevens: What We Do

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"Leonard Feather is now officially spinning in his grave. That, at least, is what journalist Bill Milkowski claims in his liner notes to What We Do by guitarist Scott McGill, bassist Michael Manring and drummer Vic Stevens. One thing is clear: faint hearts beware and jazz police stay away. Listening to this trio, which is typically associated with pedal-to-the-metal fusion, deconstruct and reshape a set of jazz standards with the help of David Torn's mixing acumen might actually be enough to give Stanley Crouch an aneurysm.

There are times when you just know they're messing with your mind. “Cherokee opens ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

McGill/Manring/Stevens: Controlled By Radar

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(a gut-level, cerebral review) First off . . . Disk 1, (electric/ “Right Brain"), of this 2-CD, 6-day-long jam session excerpta/collection.Well, hmm, ah, err, it seems -- no, in light of, considering the -- oh crapola, this is a difficult disc to easily approach. I'll attempt an objective systematic approach.Point 1: This an improv disc in its purest sense. Point 2: This is free jazz fusion aka thought-flow-moments of genius interconnected with random-branching fibers of amorphous yet focused noodling. Point 3: This is introspective, rainy day in mid-March, sonambulistic wanderings in a dark cellar ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

McGill - Manring - Stevens: Controlled By Radar

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These folks are well known for their respective jazz-fusion and progressive rock endeavors, spanning numerous albums, various bands, and guest spots. With their second trio release, the group splits this 2-CD set into two disparate motifs, i.e. Disc 1 (“Right Brain”) represents the electric side of matters, while Disc 2 (“Left Brain”) is an all-acoustic set. On the electric side, guitarist Scott McGill puts the pedal to the metal on several occasions. While bassist Michael Manring and drummer Vic Stevens consummate this adventurous brew of prog-rock and free jazz improvisation with supple rhythmic structures and terrifyingly complex patterns. Yet, the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

McGill/ Manring/ Stevens: +/- Addition by Subtraction

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I have known of Scott McGill’s amazing guitar wizardry since 1998, finally got to see him live, (front row), then enjoyed an impromptu lunch with him. I have tortured him with sending him demo cassettes of my whacked fusion and guitar tunes, and discussed certain nuances of the fine art of guitar. Besides being a great guy, with nary a trace of that “look-at-me/worship-my-skill” ego, he is open-minded and kind. I hear him gaining ground in this new release and pushing boundaries, (sample the surreal, 9:27 “Purging Mendel’s Beasts”). For this growth, I am pleased for him. He deserves a ...



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