Guarneri Underground

New World

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From the Seattle collective of performers headed by the violin duo of Sick and Schussler comes this album of ethnic ideas and basic roots jamming. Jeffrey Sick provides the bulk of the violin-based sound that dominates the majority of the album, while multi-instrumentalist partner John Schussler fills in much of the rest. A number of other artists provide bits and pieces of percussion and additional strings in the background (Jovino Santos Neto stands out quite well on the piano), but the focus always returns to the violin of Sick and the various instruments of Schussler, who shows himself to be adept at all forms of instrument throughout the album, taking turns equally well on winds, strings, and percussion. The music ranges from down-home bluegrass jams to more classically inspired violin duets, with an emphasis in the areas of light jazz and world music informed improvisation. This isn't necessarily as exciting as the other Guarneri Underground albums or the Children of the Revolution ones (Sick's other group), but it's full of fine musicianship, and worth a listen for that alone.

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