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Wingnut: Color

Jim Santella By

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As their web site indicates, Wingnut draws from hip-hop, funk, soul, trance, and jazz. Mostly instrumental music colored with Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes, the trio's hip presentation is intended to foster creativity and still appeal to a broad audience. Wingnut is Michael Stark, Walt Lorenzut and Zaun Marshburn.

"Galoshes" contains vocal tracks that add lyrics and wordless phrases. Marshburn's powerful drum backbeat forges a monotonous rock emphasis, while his electric guitar interlude blends with Jen Middaugh's vocal tracks to stir things up considerably. The ten-and-a-half minute piece changes mood several times. Keyboards and creative instrumental combinations make the piece swing. Stark seems to enjoy the jazz tinges he adds to this standout track. Elsewhere, the session ranges from mainstream, acoustic jazz to techno-dance funk and hip-hop. Judith Burton's rap offering, "Bag Slap," contains poignant lyrics. "Head Toaster" and "Tin Can" push the creative envelope, while "Three Brothers from Detroit" and "Windshield Letters" coast with authentic jazz sounds. Wingnut retains a traditional core while exploring fresh avenues. Each member of the trio demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the genre. Herbie Hancock's "Wiggle Waggle" runs straight ahead with a tough-edged funk personality. These guys certainly know how to turn it loose. Unfortunately, they rely far too much on trance-like rock rhythms and repetition. Wingnut teams with trumpeter Paul Merrill on the anagram "Sugnim" to swing straight-ahead jazz toward the audience. Marshburn's Gene Krupa fours lead to some outside playing, but it's not enough. Never is.


Track Listing: Emerge; Yellowbird; Galoshes; Sugnim; Head Toaster; Tin Can; Three Brothers from Detroit; Wiggle Waggle; Bag Slap; Four Paths; Windshield Letters; Re-emerge.

Personnel: Michael Stark- Hammond B-3, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, piano, synth, voice; Walt Lorenzut- bass guitars, kazoo, samples, voice; Zaun Marshburn- drums, percussion, trombone, flutes, electric guitar, slide whistle, voice; Guests: Jen Middaugh- vocals; Maurice DJ M.O.P. Perry- human beatbox, turntables; Elizabeth Fogarty- pedal harp & voice; Matt Morano- electric percussion; Judith Burton- vocals on "Bag Slap;" Paul Merrill- trumpet on "Sugnim;" Joe Kaczorowski- tenor saxophone on "Yellowbird."

Title: Color | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: I-Town Records


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