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Jam Camp: Jam Camp

Hard to believe the debut from Seattle's Jam Camp came out 17 years ago. This exciting instrumental ensemble , who only have three releases to their credit, manage to pack a lot into their releases, as they mix pleasant modern jazz with dashes of fiery fusion, funk, progressive rock, jam-band, and classic rock styles pretty damn seamlessly. Their self titled debut, while not as energetic as subsequent releases, still is a classy affair that shows off the many talents of the group as a whole as well as the individual performers.

"West 8" is the first song that really hits you and initiates a "wow" response, as the tune is packed with searing yet melodic guitar work from David Broyles & Michael Smith, as well as the slippery bass grooves of Jess White. On this album, the band sound like a more forceful Spyro Gyra without the sax, or the Dixie Dregs without the Southern twang. "Paper Walls" shows the band settling into a tight West Coast groove, ultra hip and modern, but before long expect to hear plenty of raunchy guitar leads and textured rhythms. Other highlights include the bluesy samba of "Circles", the Lee Ritenour-meets-Larry Carlton-like blues romp of "Shake Those Blues", the fever-pithced fusion journey "The Reach", and the lovely progressive duo "Lost Without Shadows" and "Session's End".

As solid as this CD is, Jam Camp would only get better on the follow-up Black Hills Jam-Preserves Vol. II. Plus, there's a certain dated early 90's "smooth jazz" flavor permeating this debut which you don't hear on their later recordings, especially not on their ferocious Jam Camp Live! release from 2006. Still, Jam Camp is a very solid instrumental offering from a band that was just starting to find their sound.

Track Listing
1 Blue Is You
2 West 8
3 Tiny Pictures
4 Paper Walls
5 Circles
6 Industrial Dawn
7 Balance
8 Shake Those Blues
9 Looking Back
10 Cross-currents
11 The Reach
12 Lost Without Shadows
13 Session's End
14 Counter-balance

Added: January 31st 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Jam Camp Website
Hits: 1815
Language: english

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