No, this is not Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow...THIS Avengers happens to be keyboard player Adam Holzman, bassist Lincoln Goines, Uruguayan guitarist Beledo, and drummer Kim Plainfield, four veterans of the jazz-fusion scene and together they have made a very fine album here on Gudari Records (being distributed by MoonJune), titled On a Mission. The bands & artists that these musicians have worked with include Miles Davis, Steven Wilson, Chaka Khan, Robben Ford, Wayne Shorter, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Gruisin, Grover Washington Jr., Mike Stern, Carly Simon, Sonny Rollins, Edgar Winter, Bill Connors, Randy Brecker, Eliane Elias, and many, many more. Needless to say On a Mission exudes class & sophistication, as these four musicians sound like they have been playing and recording together for decades.
Beledo has remarkable technique and feel, at times sounding a bit like Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson rolled into one, and paired up with the awesome talents of Holzman, The Avengers come across like vintage Tribal Tech, Tony Williams Lifetime, UK, and Soft Machine. Melodic tunes are the key here, as tracks like "Siddhartha's Return" and "Exactly" just contain haunting melodies to go along with some sizzling instrumental passages. "Rauleando" has a slight Latin feel which reminds of Return to Forever & Weather Report, as Plainfield & Goines are completely locked in underneath some fiery licks from Beledo and Holzman's tasty keyboard embellishments. Tons of groove & swing on this one. For all out jazz-fusion fury, the title track is your best bet, as Beledo's yearning lead lines soar over majestic keyboard textures and frantic rhythms. To top it all off, their cover of Marcus Miller's "Portia" is just sensational.
Great '70s inspired fusion like this doesn't come around too often, so if you favor virtuoso jazz-rock with supreme chops and well crafted melodies you'll need to check this little gem out.
1) On a Mission
2) After All
5) Siddhartha's Return
7) No Big Deal
8) Jimmy O'Donnell's Air