The Broun Fellinis

Out Through the "N" Door

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Let's just say that it's likely no accident that the Broun Fellinis' record label is called Weed. A bass-drums-sax trio (reedsman David Boyce doubles on raps of a type not seen in jazz since Sun Ra was piloting the Arkestra through the interstellar void) from San Francisco, the Broun Fellinis mix AACM-style free jazz, funk rhythms, a post-hip-hop pan-global sensibility, and a trippy, Lord Buckley-esque sense of whimsical wordplay. Boyce's raps are also among the most optimistic and inclusive since the heyday of the Native Tongues movement in the early '90s, making Out Through the "N" Door equally impressive for old school hip-hop-heads disillusioned by the relentlessly grim gangsta scene. Utterly fearless both musically and lyrically, the trio barrels through these 13 tracks at an often-manic pace, pausing only for Kirk Peterson's lyrical "Bass Interlude" (yes, this album even has a worthwhile bass solo -- will wonders ever cease?) and the moody ballad "Rahel," a pacific respite in the center of an otherwise turbulent but rarely less-than-fascinating album.

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