Jimmy Herring

Endangered Species

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During the '90s and through 2001, guitarist Jimmy Herring and keyboardist T. Lavitz have been recording/performing with the quasi-fusion jam band outfit known as Jazz Is Dead. Meanwhile, Herring has garnered a laudable reputation due to his work with the inventive Aquarium Rescue Unit band, whereas Lavitz gained prominence with the Dixie Dregs (aka the Dregs) amid several solo outings. Here, the duo aligns with Little Feat's rhythm section: drummer Ritchie Hayward and bassist Kenny Gradney. Essentially, the quartet goes straight for the jugular via a no-nonsense approach; however, the artists pay strict attention to compositional form. Heated soloing abounds as the band also incorporates New Orleans-style shuffle rhythms along with a few nods to the Dregs' infamous melding of Southern rock, jazzy chord progressions, and tricky time signatures. Nonetheless, the quartet sustains quite a bit of interest throughout, largely due to Herring and Lavitz's superb soloing and the rhythm sections' pulsating attack. Highly recommended.

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