E. Doctor Smith - The Drumstick
The drumstick is a homemade instrument, a long board with digital tonal markers on it that allow it to be tapped, slapped, whacked, etc. Its creator, E. Doctor Smith, assembled a band to help him celebrate the instrument’s tenth anniversary, a band that showed up with bass, horns, guitars, loops, iBooks, samples and vintage synths. The result is an Acid Jazz and world beat outing that is surprisingly tamer than expected.
From the opener, "Mike’s Theme," there is an obvious, heavy bop influence, with more than a nod to electric era Miles. But while the grooves on " Neil and Jack and Me" and "My Art Declares a Holiday" (that last a most risky title) make good use of the odd and ethereal drumstick, they are undermined by timid arrangements, especially for guitar, that contribute to this set never really finding any fire. While acid jazz is normally more mood than passion, the taste of bop and afro-funk that is offered whets the ear for more more more. As it is, this is good solid fusion, with all the traps of the genre present and accounted for.
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