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The Cabildos: Cross Fire

Douglas Payne By

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This is the second disc by mysterious keyboardist John Cabildo that the Italian label Schema has released in the last year. The first, Yuxtapocision, under the nom de disc of Cabildo's Three, was a gem of light, tight, funky grooves. This one – presumably recorded in Miami sometime in the mid-70s, too – is less interesting and a bit more erratic. But it ups the jazz-funk a bit and, rather less successfully, dips a bit too much into the Latin well ("African Jewel," "The Smallest Share," "Habana Keynote").

Fans of the earlier record will recognize the Cabildo touch on the disc's better tracks, "Barrio Bueno," "Borderland," "Kigis Konar Story" and "Softly Sonora." Cabildo, who's something of an edgier, less schooled Bob James, often alternates between piano, Rhodes, synth, clavinet and organ to keep the program varied and interesting and the percussionist (again, Max Ronnie) works overtime – or overdubbed – to keep the panorama snappy. You'd swear a fuzz guitarist was added here and there ("Cross Fire" and "Devilry Time"). But its probably just Cabildo using some sort of fuzz pedal on his electric piano. It's an appropriately mysterious effect.

Some of these tracks, especially "Slide Dance," suggest a funky mid 70s movie score which recalls, for this listener at least, the jazz imbued scores of Roy Budd. But that's what makes the not entirely successful Cross Fire as appealing as it is.

Tracks:Cross Fire; Barrio Bueno; African Jewel; Borderland; The Smallest Share; Max's Movida; Devilry Time; Habana Keynote; Softly Sonora; Kigis Konar Story; Where Is The Cat?; Slide Dance.


Personnel: Johnny Cabildo: keyboards; Max Ronnie: drums, congas, timbales; kabasa, tambourine; Jo Gain: electric bass.

Title: Cross Fire | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Schema


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