Tony Grey, Unknown Angels [Obliq Sound]

February 1, 2011

bp0211_bn_bprec2_nrTalented fuze sideman Tony Grey (Hiromi, John McLaughlin) really connects on his third solo outing, weaving bass loops and wordless vocals into an ethereal soundscape that develops thematically over nine cohesive tracks. “Awake and Dreaming” and “Why Do People Hurt Each Other” set the stage, each contrasting melodic, Metheny-esque introspection with more angular, intense B sections. “Say What You Mean” and “Out of Something” add an Indian fusion element (courtesy of Shakti members U. Shrinivas and V. Selvaganesh), the latter showcasing Grey’s surprising piano skills. A pair of dark, stark ballads, “No More Struggle” and “Some Are Saved,” thrive on Grey’s close-voiced chords and deep throb, while “Living Underground” rides a sinister overdriven bass ostinato and features glowing solo turns by Grey and harmonica heavy Gregoire Maret. “Song From Above” ends matters on an uplifting note, dabbling in the pop fringes of U2.

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