Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kazhargan World, Post Fiction

The internationally diverse ensemble Kazhargan World comes together with a new one that shows the band evolving and growing. Post Fiction (Dewey-Records LC24579), the latest, combines a sort of middle-period Miles Davis feel with nice composition elements, some excellent individual and collective soloing and a loosely hip rhythm section that swings and rocks appealingly.

Cheryl Pyle recites some spacy poetry in her very own way and plays a warm and contemporary sounding flute--also in her very own way. Stanislav Zaslavsky writes a good deal of the material and plays piano with smarts and flair, sort of post Hancockian. Hans Peter Salentin plays trumpet with a sound that certainly owes something to Miles, especially on muted horn, but the notes are his and nicely done. Sean O'Bryan Smith is on electric bass. What is interesting with him is that he can articulate funk riffs but then sometimes improvise between and around them in ways that make him a part of the improvisatory action. Max Ridgway plays a bluesy, nicely laid out electric guitar. Laurent Planells has for this band the ideal combination of free looseness and funk togetherness, sometimes all at once.

I like this band especially when they collectively improvise. They know when to come in and when to drop out so that it works really well. The written lines are very nice to hear and extend the rock-funk nexus in good ways.

That puts it all together for you as far as what to expect. It's something many people will find accessible, I would think, but it has intelligence and soul enough that you find yourself liking it more the more you hear.

It's not super-electric and it's not super-eclectic. There is a terrific balance between torque and expressive soul-lyricism.

So hear it!

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