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Unbridled anticipation may be a good way of prefacing the listening experience, given this trio's efficacious 2009 outing, Never Pet a Burning Dog (MoonJune). Once again, keyboardist Alex Maguire, guitarist Michel Delville and drummer Tony Bianco imprint their collective fusion of disparate genres spanning progressive rock, avant-improvisational adventurism, jazz, and renegade rock fare amid nods to guitarist Jimi Hendrix and the psychedelic era. They even toss in some socio-political musings on the sleek, groove-based opener, "There is a War Going On."
The respective artists' notoriety stems from a global perspective, as their ability to promote change and risk within a variety of formats would, on paper, seem to be a match made in heaven for a union of kindred spirits. Not a monolithic listening experience by any stretch, the musicians promote an armada of disparate angles, steeped in torrid prog-metal riffs, drifting dreamscapes, scalding solo spots and fluctuating tonal swashes. They spawn a festive atmosphere seeded in neural breakdowns, yet also delve into familiar rock and jazz territory, largely inoculated with a surfeit of crafty variations.
Pieces such as the trio's overdrive spin on Hendrix's "Purple Haze, featuring Deville's slithery wah-wah lines and Bianco's pummeling beats, are offset on "The Invitation," which commences with a traditional jazz organ-combo vibe, set down on a cozy format and uplifted by Maguire's buttery Moog synth solo.
The band plugs into hyper-mode expressionism on many works and aligns an interstellar acoustic-electric domain, instilling a semi-classical motif on the intense and magical "Goodbye My Fellow Soldier," as subtle contrasts and dense layers of sound give way to Delville's zinging, ethereal extended note voicings. With Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love, DouBt casts a sovereign identity that vividly differentiates between normalcy and the unforeseen.
Track Listing: There is a War Going On; Jalal; No More Quarell with the Devil; Rising Upon Clouds; Purple Haze; The Invitation; Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love; There is a War Going On (reprise); Tears Before Bedtime; The Human Abstract; No More Quarrel with the Devil (reprise); Mercury; Goodbye My Fellow Soldier.
Personnel: Alex Maguire: keyboards, sequencer; Michel Delville: guitar, Roland GR09, samples; Tony Bianco: drums, sequencer.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.