Stephen Chopek

Brain Trust

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Stephen Chopek and Chris Lovejoy are best known for touring and recording with Charlie Hunter as percussionists. Brain Trust is their debut as a rhythm duo. While one might think that a recording of two percussionists might come off as more of an exercise than a musical experience, Chopek and Lovejoy have excellent melodic sensibilities, and employ a wide range of percussion instruments that keep the sound varied. A couple of tracks meander a bit without really going anywhere; but overall, the tunes are consistently good, with Chopek and Lovejoy constantly adding new ideas that keep the pieces moving forward in an interesting way. There are a few guests along the way: fellow percussionist Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood) contributes to one track, and Danton Boller (Jazz Mandolin Project) plays bass on one track. Their old pal Charlie Hunter temporarily eschews his eight-string guitar in favor of playing bass, Rhodes, and 12-string guitar on a tune called "Knock Yer Mouth Loose" that smokes. But this album is not about the guests, it's a showcase for the genuine talents of two up-and-coming percussionists.

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