Martin Fuss


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One can imagine the marketing directors at Instinct Records trying to figure out a memorable campaign for this middle of the road saxman. "Worth making a Fuss about, " maybe. "Don't Fuss, just listen." "Quit fussing with those other guys who can also funk it up on alto, tenor and soprano." No matter how they promote Fuss, it's likely that he'll garner a fair amount of airplay and recognition alongside veteran purveyors of the same soul driven sound, like Richard Elliot and Boney James. While this means that Fuss hardly adds anything too original to the genre, he's still a solid, engaging player who writes strong, memorable melodies. Also to his credit, his production skills are on par with the silky soul and retro funk notions of Paul Brown, one of smooth jazz's most acclaimed producers., on "The Good, The Bad..." Fuss paints his silky horn melody over a clicking wah wah track and dreamy electric guitar of Christian Havel. He also has a good ear for sonic balance; on the thickly urbanminded "Dark Walk," he floats his airy soprano melody over the dense low tone grooves of Uwe Urbanowski's double bass. Next time out, Fuss should delve more into the blues because "Vienna Soul Station" (which is anchored throughout by Havel's edgy electricity and features dashing brass accents a la Tower of Power) is one of the few tracks that rise above the mix and make a truly original statement.

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