Chet McCracken

Flight to Moscow

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Former Doobie drummer McCracken shows he can do more than splatter the skins on this jamming and innovative release, which features sweet, saxy melodies, tropical funk, and some provocative musical chops by the entire band, which features midi-malletist Brad Dutz, saxman Danny Pelfrey, and guitarist Chris Pinnick. McCracken gets this flight in high gear from the frenetic beginning of "Pair of Diddles," but what most impresses is his keyboard work on the midtempo title track and his magical vibe action on tunes like "Big City Chester." Pinnick and Dutz add excitement to the flowing "Velvet Touch" and individually, Dutz adds some steel drum spice to "Solos Samba" while Pinnick cooks on the rockin' "Windjammer." Adding some special interest are the moody experimental "Solitary Rage" and the "beach sound" samplings of the drum solo "Life's a Beach." This jack of all trades never really fulfilled the promise of his budding solo career, but this album, recorded in the time of Soviet Glasnost, is a solid reminder of the many facets jazz can encompass.

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