The Dreamers / John Zorn

Pellucidar: A Dreamers Fantabula

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Pellucidar: A Dreamers Fantabula Review

by Sean Westergaard

Pellucidar is billed as the first new Dreamers album in four years, but given that the last album was tunes from Book Two of Masada and the one before that consisted of Christmas tunes, this is actually the first new material written specifically for this ensemble since 2009. It's similar to both The Dreamers and O'o, but the playing of this group never gets old. Jamie Saft skips the piano this time out, sticking with Fender Rhodes, and the interplay with Kenny Wollesen's vibes is magical. Marc Ribot has a few great solos, of course, but also contributes some interesting not-very-guitary comping. The rhythm section is equally amazing, with Trevor Dunn's supple basslines and Ben Perowsky's light touch on drums and excellent cymbal work. Cyro Baptista can always be counted on for perfect percussive accents. The tunes are mostly delightfully upbeat jazz-surf-exotica, with "Gormenghast" taking a slightly darker, Morricone-esque turn and "Jewels of Opar" a bit more insistent, with harder drumming from Perowsky and a ripping solo from Ribot. Pellucidar is another great offering from Zorn's most accessible project.

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