Album Review

Taborn, Craig – “Junk Magic ” – [Thirsty Ear]

Rococo   7/5/2005   CD, Jazz

After his stint with Carl Craig’s Innerzone Orchestra, it should come as no surprise to find keyboardist Craig Taborn joining the other forward-thinking jazzbos from Thirsty Ear’s “Blue Series.” This quartet session features Aaron Stewart on tenor sax, Mat Maneri on violas, and David King from The Bad Plus on drums, with Taborn multi-tasking on acoustic piano, electric keyboards, and a healthy dose of laptop tricknology to spice up the mixture. “Junk Magic” is the perfect opening salvo, starting off with a slow and plaintive melody, then slowing morphing into a funky digital groove before the track grinds to an abrupt halt. “Mystero” features some stuttering (sampled?) drums, earthy sax, and sci-fi keyboards. On “Shining Through,” Maneri’s viola is processed to sound like its emanating from an ancient Victrola. “The Golden Age” is an 11-minute denouement, eschewing the rhythmic complexity found elsewhere in exchange for layers of spacey electronic textures. Another fine addition to the Blue Series: grasping at the future of jazz and pulling it into the here and now.

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