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Guitarist John Bruschini is perhaps best known for his long tenure with Cecil Taylor, as well as his association with some of New York's top avant gardists. So As You Were , his funky, soul-drenched new release on the Cathexis label, comes as somewhat of a surprise.
There's no questioning Bruschini's chops - he's definitely near the top of the crowded guitar summit. But unlike so many rock-informed electric guitarists, he can do more than just play a lot of notes - he actually has something to say. He can play loud and fast (as on the groove-based "B4"), or soft and tender (on the ballad, "Glory," and the sentimental, "April"). Backed here by a quartet of top New York players including keyboardist Robert Aries and violist Jim Nolet, Bruschini proves he's an avant-gardist with a sweet side, but one who also knows how to leave sweetness aside and let the funk fly.
There's plenty here to appeal to young fans of groove bands like Medeski, Martin and Wood, as well as fans of fusion and electric jazz in general.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.