198

Garaj Mahal: More Mr. Nice Guy

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Garaj Mahal: More Mr. Nice Guy There is different, and there is distinct. Either can describe More Mr. Nice Guy by Garaj Mahal, although the latter is probably more telling. Several genres of music are mixed, matched and pushed around in this effort.

Garaj Mahal features guitar and sitar virtuoso Fareed Haque, bass master and educator Kai Eckhardt, gospel-inspired keyboardist Eric Levy and drummer Sean Rickman. The group blends jazz with rock, Middle-Eastern sounds and funk. The members have associated with a number of jazz heavyweights, including Dizzy Gillespie, Sting, Cassandra Wilson, Bela Fleck and Chick Corea.

Funk meets India on "Witch Doctor." Composer Eckhardt plays a 1961 Fender "Precision" bass and a Coura Buru-Buru fretless bass. Haque plays Moog guitar, which sounds like a hybrid between a synthesizer and an electric sitar. And Levy supplements on Fender Rhodes and Hohner Clavinet. The piece has a late 1960s/early '70s feel. An uncredited scat bridges Haque's guitar solo and the main theme, which sets up Levy's solo on the Rhodes.

"The Long Form," penned by Haque, is a straightforward, instrumental rock piece, featuring the Moog guitar. Rickman is a beast on the kit during some of the more intense moments. The group mellows for Levy's solo, but the strength of this song is the hard-charging vibe. During some of the melodic sequences, guitar and bass share the lead voice.

Rickman composed and sings lead on "What My Friends Say," as well as plays rhythm guitar. The melody is rather laid-back, but the group morphs into a fusion mode during the instrumental break, which is highlighted by Levy's Moog synthesizer. Rickman engages some nicely syncopated rim shots during the melody.

More Mr. Nice Guy is an eclectic mix of styles and sounds that are familiar, yet different.


Track Listing: Witch Doctor; Faster than the Speed of Time; Tachyonics; The Long Form; Today; Frankly Frankie Ford; What My Friends Say; Chester the Pester; Alison's Pony.

Personnel: Kai Eckhardt: bass; Fareed Haque: guitars; Eric Levy: keyboards; Sean "The Rick" Rickman: drums, lead and background vocals (5, 7), percussion (5, 6), rhythm guitar (5, 7).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Owl Studios | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Ashé" CD/LP/Track Review Ashé
by James Nadal
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Everyone Is Everyone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Everyone Is Everyone Else
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Velcro Bird" CD/LP/Track Review Velcro Bird
by John Eyles
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Butterflies Fly in Pairs" CD/LP/Track Review Butterflies Fly in Pairs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "For The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review For The Unknown
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 19, 2016

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!