Flatland

Origin of Species

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    8
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A trio of musicians from Oregon working without one of the usual lead instruments can make for an interesting sound in the world of jazz. The fact that they're primarily electric and working on their own songs adds to that. The sound on Origin of Species is surprisingly atmospheric, working its way through sinuous grooves, long preludes, and the occasional punch of energy from Donald Corey's bass. The music, if comparable to anything, would have to be said to have parallels with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and those surrounding the Mahavishnu. The waves of sound are reminiscent of Birds of Fire at times, and at times Miles Davis' electric era is evoked (especially in the Joe Zawinul-penned "In a Silent Way"). An interesting sound, definitely not in the mainstream of jazz but in the mainstream of a strong alternative.

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