P'taah

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You can't take the house out of Chris Brann, but you can take the jazz out of him anytime you want. Brann's more sensual, house-flavored Wamdue Project is pushed aside for P'Taah -- his skewed venture into free jazz and dizzy breakbeats -- and while its over-seriousness can feel like a librarian bore, its distinct relish in throwing in all sorts of apparently conflicting styles is pleasant enough. Songs rope you in with native chants, drum'n'bass structures, loose horns, and whatever else Brann probably was listening to on the day he strolled into the studio. The lattice work of differing genres never quite makes it way up to anything revelatory, but there's still a restless, unique talent amidst the ponderous muso tendencies that defines a new side to downtempo clich├ęs. Just don't expect the worst and don't expect the best. While some may consider jazz to be the poison of all interesting music, at least Brann knows how to use the freedom of the style -- and not its exact sound -- to conjure up some unusual experiments.

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