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Album Review

Blast – “Sift” – [Rer Megacorp]

Max Level   12/1/2009   CD, Jazz

Extremely complex jazz/rock compositions from this veteran ensemble. They seem to be using the name Blast4tet now, as this is the basic quartet that has been around for nearly two decades. (The group has been known to occasionally blossom into a larger outfit, always called Blast.) These guys are very good players on woodwinds, electric guitar, electric bass, and drums, and the all-instrumental compositions ???penned by the group members??? are pretty advanced structurally. Many changes of direction, from elaborate ensemble composition to tight electrified funk, then moving into more freewheeling directions, and then back again. The melodies, harmonies, and rhythms are all over the place and hard to describe. I do wish the band would calm down just a tad and??stick to one musical idea for more than a minute; this music is amazing but can be hard to follow sometimes with its twists and turns. Overall, the band sounds to me like the jazz/rock band Zu might sound if they were more polite and had a guitarist, maybe someone like Jeff Parker, on board. #5 does change the formula, being a dark, almost soundscape thing with a guest adding electronics.

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