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John Favicchia's new 2001 CD release, Dharma, is truly a work of art. Fusion in every sense of the word, Dharma is a melting pot, a potpourri of musical influences from around the world. The CD features some of the best drumming I've heard in a long time. Favicchia has the perfect blend of chops and musicality; never over playing, yet always leaving you wanting more. Dharma is full of poly-rhythmic interplay, mixed meter, rhythmic displacement, slammin' back-beats, dynamic cymbal work, melodic drum solos, and all the energy & technique you'd expect from a world-class drummer. Dharma is full of radio-worthy songs that could fit into the commercial radio format, although thankfully Favicchia doesn't seek to tailor his CD to that genre. Favicchia has obviously invested a great deal of his soul in this music. Every cut on this CD has it's own persona ... yet the mood and cohesiveness of the album is never lost. It's hard to single out a few tracks as my favorites as I love them all. "Restless Heart" is a commercial pop/jazz tune, as is "Coincidence" which has a interesting development/bridge section where John stretches out and solos while the band vamps. "Pyramid" opens with a creative drum solo, nicely setting up the 12/8 (afro-cuban / jazz) feel that this song is built on. "Te estremeces" and "Pa'delante" has some burnin' salsa drum & percussion feels coming from Favicchia and Riveria ... not to mention the brass sections. "Dharma" (a drum solo composition) means "a purpose in life". Listening to John's drumming, it's obvious why he chose to make this the title cut. "Pez" starts out with an intense electronica opening, soon melding into a soothing guitar melody, building back to the opening theme. "Animation" is an esoteric sounding groove tune, with soaring guitar melodies over a funky drum bed. Living up to it's title, "World Time II" takes the listener on a journey of sounds from around the planet. Thick layers of drums, percussion and chant will make this composition one that you'll want to listen back to over and over again ... just to catch all the wonderful subtleties. The heartfelt guitar/sax unison melodies, interplay and solos on "The Gauntlet" really make this a wonderful closing tune ... but wait till you hear Favicchia's burnin' drum solo in the middle section of the tune! John simply tears it up baby! The second of Favicchia's self-produced albums, Dharma is a 'must have' for any fusion lovers CD library and is well worth the price of admission.
Track Listing: 1.COINCIDENCE 2.PYRAMID 3.ANTES TE ESTREMECES 4.TE ESTREMECES 5.RESTLESS HEART 6.Dharma 7.PEZ 8.PA'DELANTE 9.ANIMATION 10.WORLD TIME II 11.THE GAUNTLET
Personnel: Steve Khan-Chieli Minucci-Harvie Swartz-Dean Brown-David Mann-Philip Hamilton- Jeff Haynes and many others.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.