A mature third statement from the Bay Area octet, Vinyl's Flea Market dances between genres with aplomb, successfully integrating worldbeat, dub, salsa, funk, and rock. The band's cross-stylistic statements remain surprisingly cognizant of the genres' original intentions. Perhaps most impressive, however, are the transitions from piece to piece, and style to style (such as the movement from "Flea Market Dub" to "Año Nuevo," which doesn't sound so much like an attempt at a live segue -- as transitions on albums tend to -- but a natural progression within the music). Equally impressive, if only from a gimmicky point of view, is the band's laid-back reggae arrangement of George Gershwin's "Summertime" (which morphs into the chaotically pretty "The Code Is Cold"). Granted, the band still moves into adult contemporary territory sometimes (albeit while remaining instrumental), such as on the maudlin "Remember." The band receives some high-profile help, with P-Funk and occasional Talking Heads keyboardist Bernie Worrell contributing on three tracks, and Primus/Frog Brigade leader/bassist Les Claypol joining in (as well as co-writing) "Bottom Feeder." Michael Rizza's vibraphone arrangements lend a warmth throughout the album.
AllMusic Review by Jesse Jarnow
feat: Les Claypool