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Babko, Jeff: Crux

You may not have heard the name Jeff Babko but you have probably seen him, especially if you watch late night television as he has been the keyboardist, arranger and composer for Jimmy Kimmel's band since 2003. Babko has also been a tireless touring musician and has worked with many artists including Cheryl Crow, James Taylor and Larry Carlton to name but a few. Crux was released November, 2012 and is his third disc as a band leader.

This is a 'cracking' band and it doesn't take long for these musicians to show it as the first track is excellent. All the ingredients are here, especially a fantastic rhythm section that provides the backbone upon which the rest of the band sizzles with some great soloing. Trumpet, sax and some sparkling piano play off each other beautifully. In "Neapolitan Dog" the adventure continues as the band mix in some moodier parts, almost progressive in nature, to go along with Babko's Fender Rhodes and the ripping saxophone of Ben Wendel. "Fools" is a on the calmer side with rich trumpet and background washes of atmospheric keys with violin and viola adding extra depth. More of a rock approach is taken on the jam inflected "Luna" complete with biting shards of electric guitar giving this one a real edge. I love the cool interplay between guitar, trumpet and Fender Rhodes with the drums and bass providing fuel for the fire as the music really heats up. The dreamy "Root Of The Root" is another mellower track offering a calmer ambience and gentle atmospherics. It sounds especially nice with headphones.

Crux is one of those albums that takes a few listens to fully appreciate as there is so much going on, even in the more subdued tunes. Fans of jazz and rock searching for more adventurous music will surely want to hear this excellent album. Check out Tonequake Records to learn more.

Track Listing:
1. The International Client
2. Neapolitan Dog
3. Fools
4. Luna
5. Root Of The Root
6. Nostalgia Is For Suckas
7. Angst Pets I
8. Slowly Born
9. Post Punk

Added: April 21st 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2635
Language: english

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