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OHM ‘Live on KPFK 90.7FM Pacifica Radio ’
(Lion Music) (2004)

I have to admit from the start that I’m not familiar at all with Jazz/Fusion music, in fact this is my first foray into the genre so I have nothing really to judge this against. If I had to make a comparison, as an extreme metal fan, then this reminds me of Death-Jazz bands like Atheist and Theory In Practise with the ‘metal’ parts of their sound (i.e. the double bass drums and distorted guitars) stripped away but that’s not to say that this is minimalist music, indeed the level of musicianship on offer here is of the highest order.

There is a danger that with this level of musicianship the song will be forgotten and things will collapse into a mess of aimless technique but ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland shows that there’s more to his game than the thrash shredding he made his name with, by playing some incredible melodies whilst bass player Robertino Pagliari and Kofi Baker (Ginger Baker’s son) improvise around him and anytime you think they’re about to tip over the edge they’ll lock into a groove and bring things back.

This album was apparently recorded live, straight from the monitor board onto 2 track tape at a radio station but the sound doesn’t suffer from not having a ‘bigger’ production, in fact it helps because it allows the instruments to speak for themselves without the benefit of an expensive Pro Tools mix.

It’s hard for me to pick out any particular songs as this album works best as a whole, with the occasional song intro by DJ Mark Torres giving the whole thing the feel of listening to a great house band in a smoky club somewhere, in fact his voice and presentation style amusingly remind me a lot of Louis Balfour, the Jazz Show host from BBC TV programme ‘The Fast Show’! I half expected him to say ‘niiiiice’ at any moment.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable listen and it’s definitely sparked my interest in a style of music I knew nothing about beforehand.

Album review



Review by Neil Woodfin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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