Think all jam bands sound the same, full of mindless noodling and self-indulgent soloing? Well, my friends, then you need to hear Underground Orchestra. For these five Los Angelenos, it's all about the song, man.
Underground Orchestra's all-instrumental approach to rock, funk and jazz on its debut CD, Active Ingredient, is fueled by Sam Feldman's piercing guitar tone, which echoes Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani without sacrificing his own identity. His soaring style gives way to freeform occasionally, but Feldman never strays far from the song. He's kept in line by a three-piece rhythm section (bass, drums and percussion), while Vaughn Minassian contributes liberal doses of piano and keys, which add shimmering depth to songs like "You Too" and "La Rosa."
These 10 tracks are short enough — most in the four- to seven-minute range — to allow Underground Orchestra to get in, get busy, get out and then move on to the next exciting track. There is rarely a dull moment, as feel-good Middle Eastern rhythms segue into scorching jams segue into refreshing jazz. Underground Orchestra has many active ingredients — and a potentially huge future with several different audiences, including the jam crowd, fusion fanatics, organic rockers and progheads. Word has it these guys also do a killer live version of Pink Floyd's "Pigs (Three Different Ones)".
4) You Too
5) Sock It
6) Fountain of Youth
7) Raw Feelin'
8) La Rosa
9) Ain't Never Been