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Fonda/Stevens Group: Forever Real

Ernest Barteldes By

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The mood on Forever Real goes from the pleasant groove of the title track to more experimental moments in which trumpet player Herb Robertson and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens exchange jabs, as on the eight-minute "From The Source and the more up-tempo "The Stalker (eleven minutes that go in every possible direction), in which Robertson makes you think he's switched to a flute at times—which he hasn't, it is just his technique on the instrument.

In one of the album's most interesting moments, bassist Joe Fonda brings his instrument from the background and initially duets with Robertson on "Relentlessness. They later start improvising on their own, while the human beat box of Napoleon Maddox joins drummer Harvey Sorgen in what becomes a harrowing backdrop for the song.

This album is definitely not intended for the casual listener. It needs to be heard over and over in order to grasp what it means. It can be a bit of a scary ride at first, but you get used to it and realize that these musicians had a whole concept in mind when creating this strange but wonderful music.

Track Listing: Forever Real; From the Source; The Stalker; A Question of Love; Relentlessness; The Call; Cotton.

Personnel: Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: acoustic bass; Herb Robertson: trumpet; Harvey Sorgen: drums. Special guest Napoleon Maddox: human beat box, poetry.

Title: Forever Real | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: 482 Music

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