Garaj Mahal

More Mr. Nice Guy

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Garaj Mahal's sixth CD has them continuing to explore contemporary jazz fusion with an Eastern undercurrent, a funky base, and fluid dynamics. Electric guitarist Fareed Haque loves his double-neck electric guitar, and the peerless electric bass guitarist Kai Eckhardt asserts his high-level talent in the manner he did while accompanying John McLaughlin many years prior. With Sean "The Rick" Rickman on drums and keyboardist Eric Levy, Garaj Mahal take many liberties into a dancing-in-your-head type of music with occasional forays into pop tunes. A track like "Witch Doctor" might lead one to a signature sound according to the band's name, a snake charmer's jazz to Indo-funk. Then there's the heavy metal jam of "The Long Form" and the bass-driven "Chester the Pester" in 6/8 time, or the tick-tock funk of "Tachyonics" with light Canterbury-style, airy melodies. In quieter pop singer/songwriter or even folkish tones, and even a piano ballad contributed by Levy, the quartet weaves through various strains of clearly identifiable commercial music while retaining its trailblazing spirit, making for a total listening experience appropriate for many different moods.

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