The modern technique of combining the dead with the living in music is most often used for evil (Nat King and Natalie Cole dueting on "Unforgettable" anyone?). But on his fourth album, Adam Dorn comes correct, combining the sampled flute chops of Rahsaan Roland Kirk with the live playing of Frenchman Franck Gauthier of Rinôçérôse on the oddly titled "Shamma Lamma Ding Dong." Odd because the music doesn't evoke the '50s doo wop implied by the name, but rather a groovy jazz trip in line with everyone from jazz great Donald Byrd to modern architect Carl Craig (specifically his Detroit Experiement project).
The '40s to '60s jazz vibe is all over this record, with the ghost of Nina Simone appearing on "Blackbird," in addition to a dozen living artists, including saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and vocalist Ambrosia Parsley, the later of whom appears on one of the albums few non-jazz offerings, the Lamb-esq melancholy of "I'll Take the Woods. Another jazz-less moment comes on the arid "Float," which features the formless voice of Jane Monheit, as well as guitarist Dan Seta, doing his best version of U2's The Edge à la The Unforgettable Fire. All of which might be more or less compelling than the juke-joint rev-up of "Chick a Boom Boom Boom or "Right Now," depending on if you want to bop or drift. Either way, Dorn offers exactly the mood you need.