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Jerry Granelli - UFB: Broken Circle

Glenn Astarita By

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While not a "jazz" recording in the true sense, the group known as UFB—led by well-known drummer/composer/bandleader Jerry Granelli—represents themes and notions spurred upon by his personal interest in Native American culture on Broken Circle. Here, Granelli leads a blues/rock driven outing that also boasts funk grooves on Prince's "Sign 'o' the Times," complete with thumping, forward moving bass lines by Andreas Walter and the harmonious dual guitar attack of Christian Kogel and Kai Bruckner. On "Red and Blue Days," the guitarists provide well-stated, passionate lyricism along with bluesy and atmospheric licks yet if you're expecting fiery blues driven Stevie Ray Vaughn or Albert Collins-type guitar soloing, forget it! Throughout, the guitarists engage expressive lines, airy chord progressions, tasteful soloing and even a Canned Heat-like blues-boogie rendition of Charles Mingus' "Boogie Stop Shuffle." The quartet pursues melodic rhapsodies melded with tinges of Native American rhythms and motifs that ring of folklore, wide-open territories and/or western landscapes which is evident on pieces such as "Holy Road" and the atmospheric "Crazy Horse's Dream (reprise)".

Broken Circle is a personal statement from Granelli and a well-balanced one at that. Essentially, the musicians cook up a storm in a few spots yet pursue interweaving propositions and spirited soloing that presents the listener with a multicolored and altogether inspiring musical portrait of our Native Americans.


Personnel: Jerry Granelli: drums; Kai Bruckner: guitars; Christian Vogel: guitars; Andreas Walter: bass.

Title: Broken Circle | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings


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