Progressive-fusion, jazz and even jam-band fans will find plenty to dig on Giving Up the Ghost, the appealing all-instrumental disc by Robert Walter's 20th Congress. The former Greyboy Allstar — an acid-jazz band focusing more on jazz than groove-oriented dance music — explores new territory on these dozen tracks by incorporating elements of electronic music and dub reggae into his traditional R&B and jazz leanings via a vintage Fender Rhodes electric piano and an ubiquitous Hammond B-3 organ.
A small assembly of musicians who sound as seasoned as Walter and who play off of each other much like an improvisational-jazz outfit join Walter in 20th Congress, delving into surprising sonic territory that — near the end of "Circle Limit" — recalls the structural tendencies of death metal, with staccato beats pummeling listeners like a skipping disc.
Giving Up the Ghost is the second title on Magna Carta's new jam and funk label Magnatude, and it stands in stark contrast to Magna Carta's latest instrumental release, the eclectic yet convoluted self-titled project from Stripsearch. Unlike that album, Giving Up the Ghost makes for cool Sunday-morning listening for the entire family.