Hiram Bullock

Manny's Car Wash

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Guitarist Hiram Bullock has always been a study in contrasts. There's Bullock the guitarist, who has graced the recordings and live shows of Carla Bley and Miles Davis with his aplomb and elegance; the Bullock who has let his nimble fingers fly alongside guitarist Mike Stern on some of the more intense and fiery jazz-rock fusion albums of the last decade; and the Bullock who has made some of the worst schlock R&B/fusion albums ever recorded. This set, recorded live at Manny's in New York, features Bullock, bassist Will Lee, and Clint DeGanon on drums. The material is all soul and rock classics such as: "I Can't Get Next to You," "I Shot the Sheriff," "All Along the Watchtower," "Little Wing," "Red House," "Dear Prudence," "Higher Ground," and a few originals. While this set might have translated fine in front of an intimate audience in a club, it does little here but cause one to yawn and grimace. Bullock and company contribute less than nothing to the originals, and if anything, weigh them down with hackneyed solos designed to reveal the uniformity of Bullock's studio musician style. Add this to the fact that not one of these gentlemen could sing his way out of a frog pond and you have something so dismal and dreary it's a wonder it was released at all.

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