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Rez Abbasi & Junction: Behind the Vibration

Junction is the new band put together by guitarist Rez Abbasi, and features Mark Shim (tenor sax, midi wind controller), Ben Stivers (keyboards), and Kenny Grohowski (drums). Behind the Vibration is their debut album for Cuneiform Records, containing eight Abbasi original compositions that allow the band to weave their magical take on jazz-fusion.

Right from the opening blast that is "Holy Butter", it's clear that there's a boatload of talent assembled here, with Abbasi's blazing lead electric guitar work zig-zagging around Shim's airy midi wind controller and Stivers' nimble electric piano, all the while Grohowski rumbles underneath. Think Mike Stern-meets-Allan Holdsworth-meets-Pat Metheny-meets-Tribal Tech-meets-The Elektric Band and you have an idea of what to expect on this stellar opening cut. "Groundswell" has a more atmospheric, melancholy feel, but at just over 8-minutes long it has plenty of room for stretching out, so look for a blazing Abbasi solo as well as a quirky sax exploration courtesy of Shim. "Inner Context" has a more laid back, sultry feel, and includes a tasty Hammond organ solo from Stivers, while the slow build of "Uncommon Sense" allows for some menacing sax & guitar explosions that will leave the listener breathless. Another real treat is the upbeat, bouncy "Self-Brewing", filled with engaging rhythms plus intricate guitar & electric piano solos, and a similar trend continues on the fascinating "New Rituals", where old school jazz meets modern fusion and a touch of space rock, with Grohowski pounding away on the drums.

Behind the Vibration contains some serious musicianship as well as memorable compositional craftsmanship, signaling the arrival of a hot new band on the modern jazz scene. Rez Abbasi is an incredible guitarist, and he's assembled a band here who are up to the task to make Junction a fearsome unit indeed. Recommended.

Track Listing
1. Holy Butter (9:01)
2. Groundswell (8:11)
3. Inner Context (8:51)
4. Uncommon Sense (8:54)
5. And I You (3:09)
6. Self-Brewing (6:21)
7. New Rituals (9:05)
8. Matter Falls (4:40)

Added: May 21st 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 1223
Language: english

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