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Dennis Rea: Views from Chicheng Precipice

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Three Views from Chicheng Precipice (after Bai Juyi)"

Seattle-based guitarist Dennis Rea discloses a 360-degree U-turn, contrasting his work with the hemi-powered progressive rock and jazz fusion bands, Iron Kim Style and Moraine. Rea's Asian-derived fusion—of rock, avant-garde, Asian folk and Western classical concepts—spawns a translucent and rather kaleidoscopic genre-busting sequence of musical events.

The album opener "Three Views from Chicheng Precipice (after Bai Juyi)," establishes Rea's distinct Asian paradigms, integrated with percussion, strings, woodwinds and off-kilter metrics. He incorporates a myriad of tonal contrasts into his writing, and intersperses dashes of blues and rock into the slightly humble overtones. With textural treatments and his airy, ethereal and distortion-laced lines, the guitarist reformulates the primary melody throughout, and helps finalize the piece with fuzz-toned phrasings, in unison with the strings section. Having spent time in Asia, Rea's insightful interpretations of Asian music is broadly morphed into a nouveau—and largely, fascinating—program.

Track Listing: 01. Three Views From Chicheng Precipice; 02. Tangabata; 03. Kan Hai De Re Zi; 04. Aviariations on "A Hundred Birds Serenade the Phoenix"; 05. Bagua.

Personnel: Dennis Rea (chitarre, melodica, kalimba, scacciapensieri, dan bau); Alicia Allen (violino); Greg Campbell (batteria e percussioni); Ruth Davidson (cello); James Dejoie (flauti, clarinetto basso); Caterina De Re (voce); Stuart Dempster (trombone, conchiglie); Will Dowd (batteria e percussioni); Elizabeth Falconer (koto); John Falconer (shakuhachi); Jay Jaskot (batteria); Paul Kikuchi (percussioni); Kevin Millard (baliset).

Title: Views from Chicheng Precipice | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

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