Thursday, December 13, 2018

Nick Millevoi / Desertion Trio w/ Jamie Saft - Midtown Tilt (Shhpuma, 2018)

Melding genres and subgenres into a melting pot of fascinating music, this group consists of Nick Millevoi on guitar, Johnny DeBlase on electric bass, Kevin Shea drums, Jamie Saft on organ and Ashley Tini on vibes and shakers. Using the kaleidoscopic fantasia of psychedelic rock and the intricacy of highly improvised jazz, the group creates a very successful and unique amalgamation of sounds and imagined images. Opening with the title track, "Midtown Tilt," which has a genteel almost country-ish feeling from the guitar and keyboard, like something The Band would jam on as the music swells and relaxes before finding its level as the group reaches out to explore the groove it has created with tendrils of organ and lashing percussion clearing the path for some snarling guitar leads. The music reaches a powerful crescendo coming in great waves before breaking into final surge to an epic conclusion. "Numbers Maker" has a tight and slinky groove for the organ and percussion, and the addition of grinding guitar pushes the music further along, into spacey cinematic territory. The insistent organ with the bass and drums carry the groove allowing the guitar to act at will, soloing across hypnotic, repetitive keyboards and slashing drums, or gliding along an organ groove into inner space. "Jai Alai Noon" comes across like the theme to a spaghetti western of the mind, as the group cuts an ever changing groove through the dusty desert sand, with long waves of organ anchoring slashing electric guitar and rumbling bass, creating music that would be just as much at home at the Fillmore in 1968 or the Vision Festival in 2018. Millevoi cuts loose in a devastating guitar solo, Neil Young by way of Sonny Sharrock, and the rest of the group teases such bands as Lifetime and Love Cry Want. Saft takes on the trickster role throughout the album, playing the organ with authority and devastating wit. Rocking hard, "The Carideon" comes out blazing, the full band tightly wound as the group looks for new vistas to explore led by spindly guitar and waves of droning organ, while thick bass and slashing drums stoke the fire. A strong electric guitar solo is seen really pushing the group outward, beyond boundaries out into space and beyond, with colorful organ lighting the way, Saft takes over with a passionate display of keyboard technique and interplay. The band returns for a driving collective improvisation to the finish line of this excellent and highly recommended album. Midtown Tilt - amazon.com

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