Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Joe De Rose and Amici Peace Streets First Orbit Sounds 2013

Stupid good!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Remember fusion? Joe De Rose and Amici take old school fusion and move it into the next millennium with Peace Streets. Sounds like? Take the Chick Corea Electrik Band and add a more intense rock oriented energy and you may be getting dangerously close to what may well be the sound that fusion purists have been looking for. The lineup is first rate including premier saxophonist Dann Zinn and a rhythm section that can is as tight as the come in Murray Low on keys and Dan Robbins on bass. Critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated Hristo Vitchev turns in perhaps his finest playing to date as he peals back another layer of his amazing talent to reveal a hard rock edge that one might compare to an amped up Mike Stern. Joe De Rose swings like a beast, a lyrical drummer with the intensity of a Billy Cobham and the deft touch of a Max Roach. The harmonious synergy captured here is mind blowing.

There is a distinct uniformity in presentation, a lyrical cohesion of conversation as the ensemble members expand on the improvisational course set out by the previous soloist. The retro groove sound of Low provides a deceptively subtle counterpoint throughout while Zinn and Vitchev ride an emotional crest of harmonic intensity, welcome to the land of rhythm and groove. "So It Is!" features some blistering work from Vitchev which is matched throughout with the intensity of saxophonist Dann Zinn. Most fusion releases focus far too much on one individual soloist and the accompanying pyrotechnics they bring to the table not to mention the production sound as if the music has been sanitized for your protection. Peace Streets has the sound of a true working band and production qualities that are warm, slightly raw but never lacking in intensity or focus. "Native Son" is another standout composition that owes a great deal to an incredibly underrated bassist in Dan Robbins, a smoldering lyrical soul pumpkin if there ever was one.

Joe De Rose and Amici  works thanks to the incredible partnership between Joe and guitarist Hristo Vitchev who are responsible for the compositions. The rhythm section has bought into what they are selling and the results speak for themselves. I grew up on fusion, this is better. Joe De Rose and Amici get it right. This is as close to perfect as one can get!

Tracks: New Frontiers; So It Is!; Native Son; Native Reprise; In A Moment's Time; After The Storm; Smiles For Miles; Silent Prayer; Just About 8; The Spirit Of The Room; In A Single Breath; Peace Streets.
Personnel: Joe De Rose: Drums; Hristo Vitchev: Guitar; Dann Zinn: Saxophone; Murray Low: Keys; Dan Robbins: Bass.