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Praxis: Tennessee 2004

Recorded at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee in 2004, comes this smokin' live set from the funk 'n' roll supergroup Praxis. Featuring Bill Laswell on bass, Buckethead on guitar, Bernie Worrell on keyboards, and Brain on drums, these veterans rip through 11 mind-altering jams with plenty of funkified, rip-snortin' emotion and finesse. Funny thing is, most folks probably won't be prepared for the musical fireworks contained on this CD, as the group fuses funk, heavy metal, psychedelia, fusion, hip-hop, and avant-garde experimentalism, into one sonic brew.

Many are surely familiar with guitarist Buckethead from his solo albums and stint with Guns n Roses, but man are they in for a shock when they hear his wild and lethal antics here. This guy can flat out play, as he litterally smokes with plenty of husky riffs and Hendrix-inspired leads over the sizzling synths from Worrell and the slippery grooves from Laswell and Brain. Buckethead scorches on the solo spot "Guitar Virus", which leads into the cover of the Hendrix classic "Machine Gun", where his sinewy, wah-wah drenched leads do battle with Laswell's meaty bass runs and Worrell's raging organ. Waves of psychedelic fusion blast through the speakers on "Vertebrae" and "Spun", sort of like a funked-up Ozric Tentacles on steroids. "Broken/Fractal" gives Brain a chance to solo, and anyone familiar with his work in Primus will love his nimble stick work here. The atmospheric "Bent Light" has somewhat of a proggy Pink Floyd feel to it, thanks to Worrell's spacey organ tones, until Buckethead unleashes a soaring, feedback drenched solo just ripping with emotion. Fusion fans will love Laswell's solo spot "Chopper", a jazzy number with his distorted, wah-wah licks over tricky drum patterns from Brain. The 11-minute "Magus" is a lengthy jam featuring smoking organ from Worrell and Buckethead's effects laden guitar explorations.

It must have been an amazing experience to have been one of the 90,000 fans in attendance during this scorching set, in the pouring rain from the info given. It's a shame they didn't release the full show from Praxis as a 2CD set, as I'm sure there was more magic played that night. If you want to hear some mind-boggling instrumental music, definitely check this out. And turn on the lava lamp while you are at it.

Track Listing
1. Vertebrae
2. Spun
3. Night Of The Slunk
4. Guitar Virus
5. Machine Gun
6. Haunted
7. Broken/Fractal
8. Bent Light
9. Chopper
10. Optic
11. Magus

Added: May 15th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ROIR Records
Hits: 4550
Language: english

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