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
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.
Review by Neil Woodfin