Sunday, December 8, 2013

Joe De Rose and Amici Sounds For The Soul FOS 2010

A perfect storm.
Brent Black /
Remember fusion? Remember back in the day when bands such as Return To Forever and Weather Report embraced the original idea of a jazz collective, a collaborative effort where the chain was only as strong as the weakest link and each co-conspirator had their own lyrical story to tell? Welcome Joe De Rose and Amici.
Few critics go deep catalog unless the release in question is a major re-issue. The critical life is far more than the excitement of the new release for it is the history of the band that can lead to a far greater understanding of the lyrical sense of purpose they have established over time. This 2010 release is well worth the effort as it embraces the original intent of the great fusion bands from the 70's and early 80's with color sounds from a more contemporary riff on just where their harmonic soul can be found. A perfect storm of intensity, texture and flavor. Drummer Joe De Rose has been flying under the radar for far too long. Part Jeff Watts and part Dave Weckl, Joe De Rose sets his own groove as a lyrical drummer that does far more than sit comfortably in the pocket. De Rose is the organic pulse and rhythmic soul of an ensemble that has quietly taken on the task releasing more traditional fusion from the jazz witness protection program and then adding a new cool riff to embrace the more contemporary sound of today. Amazing work if you can pull it off, they do!

The collective here includes critically acclaimed guitarist Hristo Vitchev and his long time running mate Weber Iago, a brilliant pianist with a deft touch and deep melodic soul. Dan Zinn is as good as they come on saxophone and Dan Robbins may well be the most under rated bassist on the planet. So why does Sounds For The Soul work? Just that, these tunes come from the soul and embrace the people most important and influential in the personal and professional development of Joe De Rose. De Rose and Hristo Vitchev team up for a reinvented fusion approach that combines the excitement and edge of the more rock oriented approach of thirty years ago with the modernistic approach of the contemporary fusion of today. Old school fusion made new cool fusion.
None better!

Tracks: Nick's Legacy; The Skies Below; Tal's Dream; Bros At Play; Ancient Prayer; Drum Angel; Tears From Tokyo; Sounds For The Soul; Miracles.

Personnel: Joe De Rose: Drums; Hristo Vitchev: Guitar; Dann Zinn: Saxophone; Weber Iago: Piano; Dan Robbins: Bass