108

John Bruschini: As You Were

By

Sign in to view read count
John Bruschini: As You Were New York City guitarist and composer John Bruschini, a long time sideman in Cecil Taylor's touring groups, offers nine original instrumental tracks of varying jazz and soft fusion styles played in a small band setting on his debut CD as a band leader, As You Were, including nylon string classical guitar and light electric jazz.



The morose, nylon string guitar title track opens the record with a sluggish feel, despite lightning quick classical guitar passages in the vein of McLaughlin or Di Meola, that go by too fast to present much melodic content. The song shifts into a bright 7/8 time groove after the first few minutes, adding a rhythmic spark underneath more super fast guitar runs. As the only classical guitar track on the album, however, this song feels odd as the opening track. With the second song "B4," the record goes electric with organ keyboards, electric guitar, and a viola. "B4" grooves in a subtle 11/8 time riff, and "Way Down" crawls in a slow blues shuffle, under long guitar and bass solos. The snapping groove of "Bloodroot" refreshingly picks up the pace and ends crisply, but then the ballad "Glory" drags through repeated recapitulations of a drab melody and more excessively long guitar and bass solos. The peppy "April" bounces along to a concise ending, but the starched groove of "Funkyard" has no snap as it repeats under guitar and organ solos.



Bruschini's arrangements for half of the jams on As You Were clock in well over 7 minutes, straining the listener's attention span with repeated melodic heads and lengthy solos in songs that rarely break away from repeated riffs or head/turnaround patterns. The title track moves into the 7/8 outro, refreshingly taking the song in a new direction. "Ancestral Seeds" stands above the rest of the record, moving in this manner from a slow but more engaging ballad than "Glory" into a crisp, mid-tempo electric jazz tune. Like much instrumental jazz and fusion, the long arrangements on this studio CD would probably work better in a live setting, where the listener could see the musicians interact and the music breathe.



Bruschini plays proficiently on nylon string guitar, traditional jazz electric, and a thicker fusion style electric, and the organ keyboard work adds traditional sounding and appropriately understated secondary sonic elements. The viola sits very well in the sonic array of the electric instruments, adding a clever original timbre to the light electric fusion sound. The rhythm section backs Bruschini competently, but never seems to shine beyond their roles.



Bruschini's languid "As You Were" effectively paints a somber picture, but it rarely captures or engages, partly due to extended song arrangements. The inside CD cover features a dedication to Bruschini's brother, presumably deceased, which may explain the somber mood, but the music rarely reaches out of this prolonged and melancholy feel to grab the listener with exciting writing or playing.



More Info: http://www.johnbruschini.com


Track Listing: 1. As You Were 2. B4 3. Way Down 4. Bloodroot 5. Glory 6. April 7. Funkyard 8. Ancestral Seeds 9. Sarah's

Personnel: John Bruschini, guitars; Robert Aries, keyboards; Kip Reed, electric bass; Jim Nolet, viola; Jeff Hirshfeld, drums.

Title: As You Were | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Cathexis Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Burnt Hibiscus" CD/LP/Track Review Burnt Hibiscus
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Groovin' Hard: Live At The Penthouse 1964-1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin' Hard: Live At The Penthouse 1964-1968
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "El Barranco" CD/LP/Track Review El Barranco
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)" CD/LP/Track Review Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.