Sunday, October 10, 2004

Groundtruther - Latitude (Thirsty Ear, 2004)

This disc really seemed to have "train wreck" written all over it, and it's a tribute to the musicians involved that it actually turned out so well. The group is a duo of soul-jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, downtown percussionist Bobby Previte and on several tunes they are joined by alto saxophonist Greg Osby. All of the tunes are electronically manipulated, something akin to the manipulations that FLAM does on the Matthew Shipp Thirsty Ear releases.

The disc as a whole works very well, in fact it is probably one of the most unique and interesting CDs to come out in 2004. Although Osby now has a reputation for being a straight-laced acoustic musician, he began his career with hip-hop jazz in the M-Base collective, so this isn't quite as big a leap into the unknown as you might think. The electronic beats and manipulation of the source music is quite prevalent throughout the album, but it adds texture rather than detracting from the music. This is an adventurous disc, and another winning entry from Thirsty Ear.

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