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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.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.