Smooth jazz killed fusion...or did it? Smooth jazz was the much needed kick in the ass most true fusion players needed to begin looking outside themselves in terms of creativity and focus on an innovative melodically based form of improvisation that was not limited by genre....We now have Citizen Rhythm. Guitarist Terrence Brewer is a harmonic chameleon adapting to a wide variety of straight ahead and more fusion based tunes to create an appealing hybrid grounded in rhythm but with a groove more closely associated with modern jazz.
The tunes here run the sonic table from Wayne Shorter to Chick Corea with brief stops in the land of Jimmy Heath and of course the sometimes self indulgent waters of the legendary Miles Davis. The two standout tracks here are the reharmed Shorter numbers "Speak No Evil" and "E.S.P" as Citizen Rhythm moves deftly into the land of rhythm and groove while moving into a more ambient sound scape with the Chick Corea classic "Crystal Silence." This formidable 4tet is rounded out with Michael Coleman on keyboards and Rob Rhodes on drums and the resident soul pumpkin in Gabe Davis on bass. To split the release almost in half between studio and live tracks simply proves just how well their vision translates to the stage.
Given the selection of tunes, Citizen Rhythm could have easily turned into a train wreck of epic proportions but once again we find that soulful and soul filled nature of Terrence Brewer guiding this collective into new harmonic territories and given a fresh coat of paint to some weather beaten classics. Citizen Rhythm is cutting edge, they deliver! A release that is stupid good!
Tracks: Speak No Evil; Passion Dance; Crystal Silence; Softly As In A Morning Sunrise; Gingerbread Boy; Wildflower;
Live Tracks: E.S.P; Nostalgia In Tmes Square; Prince of Darkness; Crystal Silence; Nardis.