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368

February 2006

Glenn Astarita By

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Chicago Underground Duo

In Praise of Shadows

Thrill Jockey

2006

Prominent Chicago jazz improvisers Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor embark upon free jazz-dappled world grooves, furious two-way dialogues, spaced out effects and other delicacies. As a multitasking duo, they incorporate harpsichords, horns, vibes, percussion instruments and a ring modulator into their zealous game plan. There's a pleasant and somewhat unpredictable flow that should keep the listener on the edge. Cerebral, yet loads of fun!


Ahleuchatistas

What You Will

Cuneiform

2006

This Asheville, North Carolina guitar-bass-drums unit offers hefty doses of prog rock shock therapy with its third recorded statement. Press announcements intimate comparisons with Captain Beefheart's legendary Magic Band. But it's more like the Magic Band on steroids. Essentially, these young lads convey boundless energy amid some unrelenting quirks and knotty time signatures, where meter and momentum are apt to change on a nanosecond's notice. Diehard progressive rock junkies should enjoy the heck out of this little gem.

John Carey

Underlined Psycho / Chromatic G.R.I.D.

Planet Bass

2005

New York City electric bassist John Carey and his quintet generates a medley of cleverly articulated modern jazz opuses, morphed with gritty jazz-rock motifs. Israeli electric guitarist Oz Ray adds some bite here, whereas multi-instrumentalist Rachelle Garniez embellishes some of these pieces with ethereal vocalise. Carey's modernistic approach to jazz mirrors the New York City "downtown aura, but he doesn't necessarily rehash roads previously traversed. Carey designs his works thru variable pulses and metrics. They crank it up in spots, but also use depth and space as a vital component. Cellist/pianist Dave Eggar and drummer/percussionist Frank Bellucci round out this most interesting session, recorded live in the studio without overdubs.

Tony Monaco

East to West

Chicken Coup

2006

Hammond B-3 artist Tony Monaco has been carving out his niche amid the glory of present-day masters. With veteran jazz guitarist Bruce Forman and high-impact drummer Adam Nussbaum, the organist sails through standards and originals. Generally speaking, the trio moves forward without looking back. There's a thriving impetus throughout, as Monaco's fluent organ lines heartily serve as a newfound foil for Forman. Regardless of tempo, they inject verve and chutzpah into "Softly as the Morning Sunrise and Benny Goodman's lithely swinging "Don't Be That Way. Monaco and company dole out a hip and thoroughly modern chain of command during this sprightly studio session.

Niclas Knudsen / Jeppe Tuxen / Stefan Pasborg (Ibrahim Electric) & Ray Anderson

Ibrahim Electric meets Ray Anderson

Sundance

2005

Eminent jazz trombonist Ray Anderson can just about do it all. Whether he's steering a big-band or engaging in raucous Jazz-tinged gumbo-funk, the artist's penchant for delving into innumerable frameworks continues. Recorded live, Anderson aligns with a jazz-rock, organ-guitar-drums group for a vibrantly entertaining set. It's a full speed ahead and rather ballsy session, sprinkled with Jeppe Tuxen's ferocious Hammond B-3 exercises. Anderson is on fire atop blaring choruses, turbo-funk escapades and rollicking rhythms. It's pleasantly in your face...

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