Tohpati's Tribal Dance is harmonic napalm, the best fusion release of the year by far!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Indonesian guitar god Tohpati announces his presence with authority and if that were not enough then toss in virtuoso bassist Jimmy Haslip and rhythm king Chad Wackerman and you have the perfect storm. This is not your father's fusion...it is better! Call it a lyrical sense of purpose, synergy or good old fashioned chemistry but this is a trio functioning as one unified voice and with an intensity unmatched by their contemporaries. The six string pyrotechnics and fury of Chad Wackerman are both a cerebral and visceral mind melt of melodic excitement and a deceptively subtle global twist.
Aside from some ambient vocal touches this is an instrumental release that unites two cultures and about four genres of music. Fusion that morphs into rock, funk that rolls into rock as this formidable trio welcomes you to the land of rhythm and groove. "Rahwana" sets the global table at a blistering pace while the title track "Trible Dance" is foot to the floor fusion that should have six string aficionados turning Tohpati's way in short order. Both bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Chad Wackerman have ample room to spread out and the resulting sound is a unification of texture and flavor hard to find on what some may consider similar releases. "Supernatural" transcends genre as the harmonic movement seems to build upon itself as the melodic road less traveled is reinvented with a new fusion sound for a new generation.
Tribal Dance may be the poster child for why the word "jazz" is an umbrella term at best. The improvisational course taken is hard hitting, intense, and ironically textured. A deep vibrant color pallet of sound and a three dimensional spatial depth of field easily place Tribal Dance at the top of the pack for fusion, rock and improvisational enthusiasts across the board.
One of the best releases of 2014 across any genre!
Tracks: Rahwana; Spirit of Java; Tribal Dance; Red Mask; Savana; Run; Supernatural; Midnight Rain.
Personnel: Tohpati: Guitar; Jimmy Haslip: Bass Guitar; Chad Wackerman: Drums.