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Standing on the shoulders,
This review is from: Dodovoodoo (Audio CD)
Dodovoodoo is one of the best bit of jazz rock I've heard this year - and it hasn't been a bad year so far for jazz fusion releases. Having taken the bait of a couple of reviews drawing parallels with Soft Machine, I found myself purchasing the album after hearing something different in the samples available.
So over the last 20 days I have played this album hard, and have been strongly reminded why I got hooked by jazz rock in the late 60's, and then stayed a firm fan with its development through the first half of the 70's and to this day. Each track is different from the next, and the variation of styles and then the relative complexity within most tracks will have some folks going back to relisten and hear some different on each play. Certainly there are echoes coming from several references taken from the classic period of jazz rock, 1968 to 1975. But don't expect wholesale pillaging, rather a multiplicity of short samples (for want of a better term) which continually tweak the memory, inserted expertly into heavy, modern jazz fusion. Whilst I would happily mark the first review here 5 star, and indeed agree with much of the general analysis of Elephant9's musical references, when it comes to the specific naming of jazz fusion bands as reference points, I find myself largely at variance. So let's point out what I hear and what I don't.
The opening track spits Tony Williams Lifetime (`Turn It Over' period), minus John McLaughlin: in particular, the Hammond and the dirty bass, echo Larry Young and Jack Bruce. However, elsewhere the Hammond smacks of other players, e.g. Greg Rolie in Santana's high period of jazz fusion (e.g. `Caravanserai', or `Welcome'). BTW I also hear Wayne Horwitz (check out Michael Shrieve's `Fascination'), and even the metal jazz fusion of Jonas Hellborg Group's `e'. But the electric piano features almost as much as the Hammond, and processed with a ring-modulator effect I'm hearing echoes of Chick Corea around 1970 (e.g. Miles Davis `Fillmore East' album). About the only point I agree is that one track has a strong suggestion of Zawinul and Weather Report. The allusion to Billy Cobham is misleading - and I dare not take my reference to Lifetime and Tony Williams too far either - since the fast and powerful drumming lacks the subtlety of either of these master jazz fusionists. Even so, it vigorously underpins, providing great energy as the very best rock drummers do. But as for Soft Machine, I don't think so.
In summary, this is a great album, which is likely to spark off different memories of different albums from the heyday of jazz rock, in different folks. But it is also an album of the 21st Century - jazz rock fusion grows still on what went before.