A REVIEW OF OUR DEBUT CD, PARADIGM SHIFT
Actual Proof, a quartet based in Charlotte, North Carolina, consists of vibraphonist Eric Mullis, keyboardist Silas Aldridge, electric bassist Phillip W. Berkley III. and drummer-percussionist Scott Brower. Paradigm Shift is their first full-length CD and it is a very impressive effort.
On Paradigm Shift, Actual Proof revitalizes jazz fusion. Their music is always funky (with powerful bass playing by Berkley), and utilizes the sound of rock, particularly on numbers where guitarist Clint Presley is a guest. But the jazz quotient is also quite high for the band constantly improvises, tugging at and stretching the boundaries of funky fusion, bringing in the best qualities of electric jazz and rock.
The ten group originals set specific moods but are also often episodic with surprises heard along the way, especially the switch to double-time on “Mongo.” Among the other memorable aspects of this well-rounded program are the melody (in 7/4 time) of “The Ion,” the early 1970s groove of “Level It Out,” the way that “Island” develops from a two-chord vamp into a sophisticated song, the otherworldly ensemble sounds on “Future Time,” the infectious funk groove of “Taboo,” and the bluesy ballad “It's Not Goodbye.”
While each of the musicians in Actual Proof are excellent soloists, it is the distinctive ensemble sound that really sticks in one's mind
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Have you ever seen someone rock the hell out of a xylophone/vibraphone? Eric Mullis easily gets into the groove and hammers away on that thing as he's joined by an amazing cast of musicians. Phillip W. Berkley III brings the right amount of funky bass to the instrumental jazz fusion outfit. They're always entertaining and consistently getting the crowd moving. Jeff Hahne, Music Editor, Creative Loafing (Charlotte)
Actual Proof's debut CD Paradigm Shift is imaginative, playful, lively and inventive.... Edgy opener 'The Ion' sets the pace, while 'Mongo' surprises with changing tempos and Latinesque tone