Gene Segal


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Electric guitarist Gene Segal straddles the line between contemporary and current funky jazz components, speaking in a language that is easy to understand. If you enjoy John Scofield, you'll take Segal's sound to heart, knowing that it is a bit less substantive, but nonetheless has the combined grit and gravy to display an edge with a bluesy, soulful quality. The ridiculously talented Sam Barsh appears on organ and Nord keyboard, adding his distinctive rhythmic bounce and heady harmonic taste that spice up any recording he's asked to join in on. Drummer Matt Kane solidifies the trio, not so much expanding rhythms as much as adding the punch or pulse the other two players establish and work off of. In essence, this music is fairly simple, though ramped up in a goofy Frank Zappa-type humor with boogaloo as Barsh and Segal trade lines on "Red Eyes." The repetition during "Alef" is definitely influenced by the style of Fela Kuti, especially from Barsh's organ and a three-piece horn section. Closest to swinging jazz, "Blues Again" is a squirrel-quick bop tune as downtown city life meets chitlin' circuit. A loping blues, "In the Morning" is steadied and more thoughtful, while "Truth" exemplifies the Scofield style and sound, although more chopped up and in a clockwork beat. There are also moments of quiet and peace, as heard on the toned-down "Four Flights Up," as Barsh renders a tasteful organ excursion, while the love song "Free Fall" and the ballad of repast "Quiet" show the trio's softer side. Then there's the two-minute loud and disorderly improv "Captain Chaos" and the title track that again hooks up with the horns in a boring, pedantic ten-minute jam -- both pieces are utter throwaways. Segal certainly has his moments, but is not yet distinctive enough to pull his own weight. Hypnotic is a starting point for what should be better musical results in the future.

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