Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle

Battery Milk

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This is an odd set of slightly menacing dance music. The quintet essentially alternates between so-so straight-ahead jazz and improvised rock, often emphasizing repetitive basslines and sometimes utilizing the strange and mostly unintelligible vocals of J.J. Richards (one of the two bassists). While Mike Dillon's vibes are a nice touch (though no match for a Gary Burton or Bobby Hutcherson), many of the performances have a "music minus one" quality. Listeners will find themselves waiting in vain for the main soloist or singer to show up. And while one can appreciate "Bad Man" (an overly brief "tribute" to George W. Bush) and the homage to Eddie Harris on "Harris County," the originals are just not very strong. GoGo Ray comes across as the most skilled musician on drums and takes plenty of breaks, but musically this outing is much less memorable than the song titles and the unusual piece of cardboard that houses the CD. One suspects that Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle would be fun to see live, but this recording is at best slightly stimulating background music and, at its worst, instantly forgettable.

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