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icOns: HipGnosis-the 'OO G/e improvisations

This neat little collection of improv sessions from Chapman Stick player Steve Hahn, drummer Joe Diamo, guitarist Jeff Miller, and alto sax player Bill Janssen is a complex, dissonant feast of scrumptuous progressive jazz fusion. Fans of the artists and bands from the famed ECM label will revel in the dark and intricate sounds contained on this CD.

If you can imagine a head-on collission between 80's era King Crimson, The Soft Machine, Jan Garbarek, and Bill Frisell, you kind of get a feel for what you are in store for here. The sneaky sax of Janssen snakes around the intricate lines of Hahn and Miller on the driving "Invitation", while the 13 minute "Sweet" is a Crimson/jazz gem with lots of complex zaniness from Hahn's Chapman Stick. There's some smooth, atmospheric fusion on "Troublesome", featuring Janssen's melodic alto, while "Mahaja" contains some dissonant and distorted guitar work from Miller and awesome, wailing sax leads again from Janssen. The ten-minute title track contains a myriad of sounds and textures (coming across like an electric version of Oregon) that really shows off the skills of the whole band.

HipGnosis was a pleasant surprise, and considering that these sessions are mostly improvisations, the recording as a whole comes across quite seamless and focused. Fans of jazzy fusion will find much to like here for sure.

Added: February 17th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Deep Chocolate Productions
Hits: 3137
Language: english

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