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News from the Jungle

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Crítica do álbum

It's somewhat amazing that this bold, bizarrely eclectic CD by three guys from Minneapolis would come out on a French label. All three players on this CD are renowned session musicians who have played with everybody from Miles Davis to Billy Joel, but News From the Jungle is anything but the slick production you might expect from a trio of session men. The album starts out with a heavy, menacing sound portrait of a bad night in a bad neighborhood, with Sonny Thompson grimly reciting crime statistics over a pounding beat, wailing guitar, and a collage of police calls and urban sound effects. About a third of the way through the nine-minute track, the vocals stop and the guitar takes over for a instrumental freakout that is jaw-dropping. After this long, tense start things swerve suddenly into free jazz for "Take the Coltrane," and the experimental, improvisational feel doesn't let up from there. Several of the pieces that follow have intensely distorted guitars and pounding drum and basslines that verge on heavy metal, but with a freedom, vigor, and wildness that take them far into other territory. When this approach is applied to Duke Ellington pieces, the result is eye-opening. The bizarre version of "The Mooche" is a change of pace, the normally swinging piece given a ghostly, eerie feel by slow-motion tempo and bent guitar notes. The restrained, tasteful vocal performances by "Sonny Thompson" are another surprise; he sounds relaxed and natural on a solo performance of the Burt Bacharach chestnut, "This Guy's in Love With You," which is a refreshing change of pace from the crunching performances that precede it. The stylistic shifts throughout this album may distance some listeners, but those who are adventurous will revel in the unpredictability as well as the virtuosity of this exceptional trio.


Género: Pop

Anos em actividade: '90s, '00s

Guitarist Jef Lee Johnson is well-known as a session musician, playing for everyone from pop stars like Aretha Franklin and Billy Joel, to smooth jazz vocalists like Phyllis Hyman and Rachelle Ferrell, to fearless experimentalists like Ronald Shannon Jackson and McCoy Tyner. (He even has a mid-'80s stint as the lead guitarist in Paul Shaffer's World's Most Dangerous Band, the house band for Late Night With David Letterman, under his belt.) His solo albums, starting with 1996's Blue, are equally wide-ranging...
Biografia completa

Top de álbuns e músicas de Jeff Lee Johnson

News from the Jungle, Jeff Lee Johnson
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  • 9,99 €
  • Géneros: Pop, Música
  • Lançamento: 01/01/2001

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