How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Eminent progressive jazz drummer Luther Gray rekindled the spirit of his youth when he listened to music, via his Walkman, while mowing the lawn. With a dual-guitar and bass-less lineup, this ensemble professes a unique identity as it intertwines blues, rock and the perimeters of free jazz into a cleverly designed forum. Here, the musicians inconspicuously dish out an album that carries a mark of distinction
and Dan Littleton launch the festivities with a psychedelic, blues-inflected motif, spiced with tremolo and a laidback groove. Alto saxophonist Gary Hobbs then ups the ante via his gutsy and yearning choruses, where blues and avant-garde jazz attain equal ground. It's an ideology that yields fruitful dividends throughout the program, although each track stands on its own. During the song's bridge, Gray diverts the pulse during his temperate solo spot, following his band mates' frenzied onslaught.
Lawnmower is a sheer delight and West is an album that should not go unnoticed.
Personnel: Luther Gray: drums; Jim Hobbs: alto saxophone; Geoff Farina: guitar; Dan Littleton: guitar.