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Robert Sabin: Romero

Mark F. Turner By

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New York bassist Robert Sabin's Romero continues to deliver music that jolts the ears and psyche, as first heard on the 2005 recording Killdozer . This time around the music draws inspiration from none other than horror film director George A. Romero, whose cult classics include Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978).

Nothing is quite like a jazz musician playing outside of the mainstream music (e.g. Miles Davis' later years). Sabin and the band (now with the addition of trumpeter Russ Johnson) are even tighter, bringing more idiosyncratic ideas replete with power rock, free jazz and some definite unpredictability—showing that there's more to these zombies than meets the eye.

Included in the tracks are dialog samples from some of Romero's classic horror movies introduced in "'No More Room In Hell, that segues into the rock-anthemic "Zombi (L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi), complete with muted trumpet, distorted guitar, and Jason Rigby's fleshy warm-toned sax sharing the spooky melody. But things quickly shift on "ZWKDD4", as Sabin's bass line pounds a groove outlined with spicy horn arrangements and a wicked serrated-edged guitar solo by Mark Stanley.

One thing's for certain: these guys are jazz musicians, playing music you won't hear from ordinary punk bands. Complexity and ingenuity are found in the light abstract of "God Left The Phone Off The Hook, the cinematically dark "Dog Shot, and the modality of "Helicopters, with a nice swinging drum solo by Brian Griffin.

Sabin and his crew deliver another memorable recording and, just like Romero's walking dead, they keep on coming. But if the recordings are like Romero, then let them.

Track Listing: Introduction (No More Room in Hell...); Zombi (L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi); ZWKDD4; God Left The Phone Off The Hook; Dog Shot; Is there food?; Monkey Farm; Flowers in the Graveyard; Helicopters.

Personnel: Robert Sabin: bass; Jason Rigby: saxophones; Mark Stanley: guitar; Brian Griffin: drums; Russ Johnson: trumpet.

Title: Romero | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Ranula Music

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