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Jam Camp: Live! DogStock Special Edition

The Dogstock Music Festival in Melvern, KS, which supports The Akita Adoption & Rescue Foundation, has an upcoming Labor Day event that features bands such as Jam Camp. If you have not had the pleasure of an introduction to this fine band yet, they are a jazz-rock-fusion machine that you must hear.

Jam Camp Live! is a limited edition release consisting of tracks from performances in April, June and July of this year, mixed down to remove the crowd noise for optimum listening pleasure, giving the tracks a clean and crisp sound from top to bottom. Keep one thought in mind, crowd noise is something you get in addition to the music so it does not really matter if you are a true lover of music. You will soon forget about the fact that they are actually playing on stage and find yourself immersed in the music in no time. With two studio albums already behind them, Jam Camp and Black Hills Jam-Preserves Volume 2, this unit has no trouble having enough material to perform to its audience. This release has 11 tracks, the shortest running at 4:07, and the longest at 8:29.

"Blue Is You" turns out to be one of my favorites on the CD. I like the combination of smooth jazz and fusion. The saxophone playing of Steve Munger is the key factor in creating the necessary vibe on the track. "Thrush" has some exceptional lead guitar work courtesy of Dave Broyles and Smitty Smith. The two string benders peel off licks at an incredibly fast rate, giving Jam Camp a one-two lead combo that knows how to rock and fuse the elements of jazz for that perfect marriage between the genres. Every track features these essentials and it allows each band member to step out to the front and show everyone why the name of the band is a good fit.

This is a great live album that gives you a taste of the past (previous releases) and the future (3 new cuts for the forthcoming studio album) of Jam Camp. It promises to be a great year for this band and something new for fusion fans to discover. Finding music like this is like looking over the fence at the girl next door and realizing she is all grown up and beautiful, what a revelation!

Track Listing
01. Echologic (7:23)
02. Thrush (7:10)
03. Westside Highway (6:48)
04. Blue Is You (8:09)
05. Trees (8:29)
06. West 8 (4:31)
07. Wormhole (4:07)
08. The Reach (5:17)
09. Paper Walls (4:51)
10. Mr. Bliss (5:29)
11. Groove Monkey (7:40)

Added: November 28th 2006
Reviewer: Keith Hannaleck
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1951
Language: english

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Jam Camp: Live! DogStock Special Edition
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-11-28 19:57:32
My Score:

One word easily descibes the music of Jam Camp...sophisticated. Jam Camp Live! is an eleven song live set recorded on the band's tour in mid-2006, and features songs from their previous studio albums and a couple of upcoming tunes from their future release. With sax, dual guitars, bass, and drums, Jam Camp play an instrumental hodge-podge of jazz fusion, rock, and jam styles, that is, and here's that word again, sophisticated. Hints of Passport, The Allman Brothers Band, Spyro Gyra, Dixie Dregs, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra can be heard throughout these tracks, but only as a fleeting inspiration, as these guys have a pretty unique sound. The songs here mostly fall into the 4-8 minute range, leaving plenty of room for the sax and guitars to launch into lengthy jams and solos. Both David Broyles and Michael "Smitty" Smith are fine players, delivering fiery, tasty leads, and tight, funky rhythms, while sax player Steven Munger adds plenty of color and smoking jazz tinged solos. The rhythm section of bassist Jess White and drummer Joel Veatch work like a well oiled fusion machine, pumping out plenty of tight grooves. Overall there's not a weak tune in the bunch here, so depending on your fancy, whether it be bouncy funk rockers like "Westside Highway", soaring fusion burners like "Thrush", or more progressive pieces such as "Trees", there's something for everyone here.

Instrumental rock doesn't get much better than this folks. Awesome stuff!

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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