CD Review: Jimmy Earl "Renewing Disguises"

February 13, 2014

Having long had an ear to forward-leaning mixologists like Squarepusher and Matt Garrison, Earl—the veteran Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Jimmy Kimmel Show bassist—puts his own postmodern spin on the merging of DJ-induced sonics and live musicians. “Africano Cento Cinquanta” surrounds drummer Gary Novak’s clave with loops and Earl’s sequence-tight-but-improvised bass bursts, before moving to straight-ahead for solos by Scott Kinsey (on Rhodes) and trumpeter Tim Hagans. “Night,” adapted from Sergei Prokofiev, becomes a drums-n-bass and upright throb, with spoken samples alluding to an alien arrival. The title track, from David Shire’s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 score, is an industrial, loping faceoff between Kinsey’s keys and Steve Tavaglione’s alto. Most intriguing is Earl’s remix of Gil Evan’s arrangement of “Gone,” from Miles Davis’s Porgy & Bess album, with live enhancement. Elsewhere, Jimmy steps forward on fretless and Jazz Bass respectively for “Cavatina” (the touching theme from The Deer Hunter) and his own “Weather Reporting.”

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