198

Garaj Mahal: More Mr. Nice Guy

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
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: Fareed Haque; guitars: Kai Eckhardt; bass: Erick Levy; keyboards: Sean "The Rick" Rickman; drums.

Title: More Mr. Nice Guy | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Owl Studios


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Heartscape" CD/LP/Track Review Heartscape
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "Guitar Fantasies" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Fantasies
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Edit Peptide" CD/LP/Track Review Edit Peptide
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Sonder" CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.