Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith spreads his wings on this Pristinely recorded, high-impact jazz fusion outing captured at the Baked Potato in North Hollywood, CA. From a technical perspective, the members of the Chili Peppers were always cited as serious-minded musicians, possessing the goods to delve into various musical formats or genres. Smith, nascent guitar hero, Jeff Kollman, and the remaining band members initiate a kinetic performance, transferring radiantly to disc.
The press materials indicate that the aim was for the band to lock into a groove-based exposition, covering hardcore electrified funk, progressive metal, and other slants, swelling from a cyclonic jazz fusion foundation. There are no hidden agendas, as the band lets it all hang out, dishing out a memorable, Stevie Wonder-like theme on "Passing the Ace" and raising a bit of hell elsewhere, highlighted by Kollman's angular distortion techniques that brim with slippery lines and brash crunch chord maneuvers, as well as some cool, jazz-tinged solos by keyboardist Ed Roth.
Smith either resides in-the-pocket or punishes his kit with forceful polyrhythmic explosions. One of the noteworthy aspects of the program equates to how the band generates great depth via a potpourri of hues, shadings and layered textures. No monolithic outing this, the group renders a knock-out punch by morphing a jazzy, dreamscape into its blitzkrieg, guitar-heavy finale, "Nightsweats."
Complex unison runs are handled with the ease of taking candy from an infant, yet on "Shilo's Forbidden City Blues," Kollman's linear, harmonic voicings give way to wailing licks. It's a polychromatic endeavor packed with divergent musings and a highly entertaining form-factor. Fusion and jazz rock aficionados take notice: this is an album that should not slip through the cracks.
CD1: Oops I Spilled My Beer; Passing The Ace; Mountain Of Meat; The Gunboat Is On;
Nightsweats; Topps Off; Pigsfeet; Need Strange. CD2: Deathmatch; Battle For Ventura Blvd;
Moby Dick; Shilo's Forbidden City Blues; Breadballs; Lobster Legs; Into The Floyd.
Chad Smith: drums; Jeff Kollman: guitar; Ed Roth: keyboards; Kevin Chown: bass.
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