Michael Musillami / Mario Pavone

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Another solid effort from the "Motion Poetry" ensemble: guitarist Michael Musillami, bassist Mario Pavone, pianist Peter Madsen, and drummer Michael Sarin. The writing is evenly split between Pavone and Musillami ("Toulon" is actually co-written by Pavone and Marty Ehrlich). Madsen's playing is characteristically stunning, and Musillami's tone is a touch warmer than usual. The guitarist has in fact never sounded better on record; his solo on the funk-inspired "Shorty" is not to be missed. Other highlights include the rubato lyricism of "Today the Angels," the surging counterpoint of "Bass Song," and the shifting meter of the title track. If anything, this sophomore outing is even more focused and rewarding than the band's highly recommended 2000 debut disc. Their edgy, rhythmically charged repertoire continues to defy easy categorization. In the field of modern creative music, they have few equals.

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