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douBt: Never Pet A Burning Dog

Freefunkavantjazzprogrock. Or freenk-jarrock? Somebody come up with a label for these guys. If not for the great fusionoid instrumentals that divulge aspects of prog, jazz, Canterbury and even ambient, but for the upper-case B that rests in this trio's moniker of otherwise all lower-case characters — no douBt. No, no, of course not: labels bad. New interesting music good. Likewise, cheesy samples bad, real Fender Rhodes and Hammond B-3 organ good — 'Tron samples are A-OK, though. Alex Maguire is the keyboardist, Tony Bianco is the drummer, and Belgian transplant Michael Delville is the guitarist. All are veterans in performance and recording, mainly jazz.

Lo! Progressive rock legend Richard Sinclair lends his talents on three tracks to this essentially bassless and vocalless band. His presence jibes with the nods to early Camel, Soft Machine and Hatfield on Never Pet A Burning Dog, Maguire's connection to the Hat a given. Interestingly but not wholly unexpectedly, the compositions Sinclair appears on are the calmer, collected, mellower ones. "Corale Di San Luca" and "Passing Cloud" feature his singing, "Corale" and "Laughter" his bassing. While the other five tracks are decidedly more adventurous, that's not to say the ones with Sinclair are "safer," as there isn't a dull moment on this Dog.

Maguire favors that great distorted sound Hammer and Corea made famous with their Rhodes pianos in the '70s fusion heyday and Delville spices up his tonal palette with some Roland guitar synth. Bianco's finesse secures douBt's status as a kind of "Canterbury power trio"; Delville's guitar prowess swaps aggression for texture for matters of taste ("Aeon"), and thus all three players engage in the sort of telepathic chemistry other longtime bands of instrumental rock display. Maguire's Mellotron lines define the spaces between the lines in "Passing Cloud" and "Cosmic Surgery" and help resolve them to their Canterbury leanings.

Instrumental music purveyors Moonjune Records continue to furnish one slam-dunk after another, one of their best—and 2010's best— being douBt's Dog. 2011 will no, er, doubt be an equally if not more exciting year for music, and surely there's more to come from this trio.


1. Corale Di San Luca (3:05)
2. Laughter (6:25)
3. Over Birkerot (8:53)
4. Sea (7:57)
5. Passing Cloud (4:08)
6. Cosmic Surgery (6:45)
7. Aeon (7:28)
8. Beppe's Shelter (8:16)

Total Time — 52:57

Added: January 12th 2011
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: Moonjune Records
Hits: 2138
Language: english

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