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Igor Willcox Quartet: Live!

Mike Jurkovic By

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Live! is an unrelenting coup of a performance, an in-your-face and out-of your-seat statement, and one hell of a very hot disc -non-stop Euro fusion and jazz funk. Brazilian drummer Igor Willcox opens the gate and leads his indefatigable quartet of virtusosi -relentless bassist Glécio Nascimento, Jan Hammer influenced keyboardist Vinícius Morales, and free-blowing Clayton Sousa on sax -through a high-octane celebration of living and joyful playing.

One can immediately see and hear that Willcox doesn't mince words or his music. Three fire-breathing covers of tunes by Allan Holdsworth, Lenny White, and Wayne Shorter hit play and you hold on. Two years into their collective existence and they play like vets, sizzling, braking, whirling, burbling along on percolating rhythms. And though at times many of these songs feel and play like jam blow-outs, it is to Willcox's extreme credit that as tight as his compositions are, they each provide more than ample room for his cohorts to stay stratospheric. Willcox himself is always in the pocket and ready to free the beat on an instant's notice. On White's searing "Wolfbane," Holdsworth's "Fred," and Shorter's eclectic "Elegant People," keyboardist Erik Escobar steps in and doesn't miss a beat or lag in energy. Same holds true for bassist Fernando Rosa who holds down the groove on "Elegant People" and "Wolfbane." These are top-notch players in high gear mode. Highly recommended. As a thank you to all, you can download the disc for free at www.igorwillcox.com.

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