97

Vinnie Colaiuta/Robben Ford/Jimmy Haslip: Jing Chi

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Another Tone Center supergroup strikes gold. Ex-Zappa drummer Colaiuta joins Yellowjackets bassist Haslip and blues-jazz guitar god Ford for a pretty damned satisfactory fusion foray. The big ears and fleet fingers required to pull off music like this are present in spades, and Ford's pedigree revives the blues feeling that's been so often absent in jazz-rock outings.

This is actually a fairly relaxed set compared to some of the barn-burners Tone Center has released of late. The impression is that of three friends who decided to sit down and jam on a hot August night, aware of their chops but more interested in a tempered musical conversation. For the most part the strategy works well, keeping Jing Chi from falling into the usual trap of "sound and fury signifying nothing" that tends to plague fusion albums. Like many jazz combos, this bunch seems most at home with the blues, evidenced by Ford's rapturous wailing on tracks like "Crazy House".

There are some nice diversions here, particularly Ford's crystalline acoustic playing on a tense "Train Song" and his head-smashing metallicity on the opening of Colaiuta's "Aurora". Haslip takes a heavily synthesized vocal on the ethereal "In My Dream", a big change of pace. Colaiuta reminds us that he's a master of all kinds of grooves, his polyrhythms setting up obstacle courses for the strings to playfully navigate. Jazz-rock pioneer Brian Auger adds some hot organ to the cool drive of "Man in the Ring", and his interaction with Haslip at solo time is priceless. Steve Tavaglione's EWI synth and programming are present here and there for atmospheric support, buoyant but unobtrusive. This disc is yet another triumph for Tone Center and the great fusion revival.


Track Listing: The Hong Kong Incident; Stan Key; Tengoku; Crazy House; Going Nowhere; Go Figure; Man in the Ring; In My Dream; Train Song; Aurora.

Personnel: Colaiuta, drums, programming; Ford, guitars, vocals (#5 only); Haslip, bass, keyboards, vocals (#8 only); Brian Auger, organ (#7 only); Dan Morris, tabla (#5 only); Steve Tavaglione, EWI wind synthesizer, programming, keyboards.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Tone Center | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "City Colors" CD/LP/Track Review City Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Central Line" CD/LP/Track Review Central Line
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Functioning Broke" CD/LP/Track Review Functioning Broke
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Recondita Armonia" CD/LP/Track Review Recondita Armonia
by Phillip Woolever
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!