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Melaza

Scorch Trio

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Album Review

The latest album by Scandinavian skronk-jazz outfit Scorch Trio features a new member — drummer Paal Nilssen-Love has been replaced by Frank Rosaly — but longtime fans of the group will hear few sharp changes from the material on their first three albums. Guitarist Raoul Björkenheim is still tearing at the strings in a way that combines free jazz and high-volume rock, while bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten locks in with whoever is drumming, setting up fusion-minded yet supple grooves where necessary, but providing plenty of space on more abstract tracks like "Orita." Some pieces, like the opening "Relajo," recall Tony Williams' Lifetime or the Trio of Doom (a very short-lived group made up of John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius, and Williams), while others, like the title track, sound more like the amp-frying post-blues Jimi Hendrix was recording in the last year of his life. This music will be way too abstract and jagged for fans of plain ol' hard rock, but those who've been following Björkenheim's career thus far will be pleased to know that the change of drummers hasn't cost the Scorch Trio any of its intensity.

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