Wingnut

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The most obvious stylistic referent for this rural New York-based trio is Medeski, Martin & Wood. Both bands consist only of organ, drums, and bass (though Wingnut bassist Walt Lorenzut uses an electric rather than an upright bass), and both gravitate toward the funky, groove-based side of things. But Wingnut ranges quite a bit farther afield in their music experimentation than does Medeski, Martin & Wood; on this album, they spend almost as much time with straight-ahead jazz (organist Michael Stark's fine original composition "Sugnim"), hip-hop ("Bag Slap," featuring rapper Judith Burton), and turntablism (the very impressive "Tin Can" and a less impressive rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Wiggle Waggle") as they do with organ-trio funk. There are also a few distinctly metallic guitar parts here and there, courtesy of durmmer Zaun Marshburn. That kind of variety -- and the virtuosic but muscular grooves they get into when they do hunker down and focus on the funk -- make this an impressive and rewarding album, one that bodes well for this band's future.

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