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Garage A Trois: Power Patriot

Mark Corroto By

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The music of Garage A Trois is located somewhere on the map between do-it-yourself punk fusion and hip-hop jamband. The current lineup replaces guitarist Charlie Hunter, heard on Outre Mer (Telarc, 2006) and Emphasizer (Tone Cool, 2003), with keyboardist Marco Benevento. The effect is to push the music more towards saxophonist Skerik's prior efforts in the Seattle band Ponga.

The change here is heard in the writing of vibraphonist Mike Dillon and Benevento's keyboard mayhem. A fan of vintage electronics and keyboards, as he did on his solo effort, Me Not Me (Royal Potato Family, 2009), Benevento supplies ubiquitous amounts of scratchy, failing devices that make the odd and interesting sound so hip. Add to the mix, funky drummer Stanton Moore (Galactic, TJ Kirk) and the party is on.

Perhaps jazz musicians will be the rock stars of the post-apocalypse, and this may be the soundtrack. Sprinkled with the heavy grooves are found sounds. The disc starts off with the blown speaker noise of "Rescue Spreaders" that segues into a pounding then a tortuous pulse. Yikes. This is going to be in your face.

And it is, with Dillon's contagious vibraphone ringing somewhere between Roy Ayers and Khan Jamal. He takes a quicksilver solo on "Dugout," over Moore and Benevento's rocked-out accompaniment.

The band goes from loud to soft without trouble. The title track begins with undertones of The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" before honking into some B-science fiction movie sounds, all played over Moore's stormy drum kit. "Purgatory" calms, yet there are always strange electric static impulses firing in the undertow. The heaviness is soon overwhelming as the rumblings fade away. "Computer Crime," contains an insidious Steve Reichian repeating line that opens up the soloing into a small (very small) rock opera, with Skerik vaulting sounds against the tides.

With music like this, we might as well invite the four horsemen of the apocalypse to dismount and jam a while.

Track Listing: Rescue Spreaders; Fragile; Dory's Day Out; Electric Doorbell Machine; Power Patriot; Dugout; Fat Redneck Gangster; Purgatory; Germs; Computer Crimes.

Personnel: Skerik: saxophone; Stanton Moore: drums; Mike Dillon: vibraphone; Marco Benevento: keyboards.

Title: Power Patriot | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Royal Potato Family


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