By George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly
This being a half century since fusion was started with the seminal Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way, a number of younger artists are once again plugging in and mixing rock with today’s jazz. Here are a few recent releases.
Santiago Bosch plays the Rhodes keyboards, Roland and a bit of acoustic piano with a team of Dany Anka-Jared Henderson/b, Juan Ale Saenz/dr, Tim Miller/eg and guest tenorist George Garzone on this album that is musically and titularly like Chick Coreas RTF days. Keyboards simmer to heavy hitting drumming on “Finding Your Way Out” with intricate lines and themes veering with G forces on “Transition” and the title track. Garzone’s tenor is melodic on the pretty “Why” and charges with the stallions on “Persecution” with the leader going full force in a duet with Saenz on the multi-textured “Level 8”. Where have I know this before?
EVI stands for “Electronic Valve Instrument” and it, along with the piccolo trumpet, trumpet and keyboards are used by Darren Barrett to lead a mix and match team of Santiago Bosch/key, Daniel Shkenazy/b, Matheo Techer/dr and various guests on guitars, horns etc to create a synthtastic sound akin to vintage Weather Report. Kenny Garrett sears through the soulful “db Plus KG”, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel sifts through the thick weeds on “Deal For Real” and tenorist Noah Preminger rides the percussion like a long boarder on ”Botnick.” Barrett’s layers of synthesized horn create sonic landscapes that are palpable, teaming with thick percussion on the rappy “Nu Vibrations” and the heavy weathered “Mr. Steiner.” The body electric is sung.