Gary Willis

Bent

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    8
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Gary Willis presents nine jazzy and funkified pieces all his own and two he co-wrote with bandmates. The personnel here are Tribal Tech's bassist Willis, Scott Kinsey on keys, and Kirk Covington drumming on two tracks. Dennis Chambers provides sweet drums on eight tracks. Reeds are Steve Tavaglione wailing on EWI, tenor, and soprano sax and clarinet. Bob Berg also guests playing one mean tenor sax on three tracks. Imagine Tribal Tech with no Scott Henderson pyrotechnics but Willis stretching out more so on the bass with great reed work heating things up-and you have Bent. He's an amazing bassist as well as composer extraordinaire. This is a laidback release in many places without any helter skelter race to follow lightning axe chops. Willis can, and does, groove phat-fast or slip into the smooth and even echoes that Manring quirkiness when he feels the urge. Willis intros with an amazingly complex bass piece to open "Emancipation" where steel drum keys and harmonica EWI hail back to an upbeat Weather Report porch swing daze that fades away into . . . ahhh.

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