The Paul Wertico Trio / Paul Wertico

Don't Be Scared Anymore

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Don't Be Scared Anymore is a CD to listen to only if you like your jazz laced with lots of rock. And for that matter, the only rockers that this fusion/avant-garde jazz effort will attract are rockers who have some appreciation of the language of jazz. Don't Be Scared Anymore is jazz-rock in the truest sense, it has the muscle, volume, and aggression of rock, but it also has the intricacy, spontaneity, complexity, and imagination of jazz. Forming a trio with guitarist John Moulder and bassist Eric Hochberg, drummer Paul Wertico doesn't cater to those who are fearful of jazz considerations any more than he caters to myopic bop snobs who labor under the delusion that all jazz has to have a 1950s beat. No one would mistake probing pieces like "African Sunset" and "Liftoff" for Art Blakey recordings of 1955, but their jazz appeal cannot be denied -- those who think that Wertico is simply a rock instrumentalist need to get with the program and come into the 21st Century. Wertico, who is very much a part of jazz's electric avant-garde, takes an inside/outside approach on this CD, parts of the album are very dissonant and underscore his appreciation of Ornette Coleman's innovations. But he doesn't go for complete atonality and puts a great deal of thought into melody and composition. If you have a high opinion of both fusion and jazz's electric avant-garde, Don't Be Scared Anymore is highly recommended.

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