Perfectly Square

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Kicking things off with the Coltrane-tinged "In Defense of Phallic Power Totems II," Bazooka set the high-toned stage for Perfectly Square: the group's 1993 debut for SST records. Comprising of saxophonist Tony Atherton, bassist Bill Crawford, and drummer Vince Meghrouni, Bazooka blast out a kind of groove jazz with Crawford's solid-body bass providing a rolling bottom end that gives the trio's tunes a heaviness that's unique and affective. Besides the aforementioned leadoff track, other standouts include the sparse "Crimes Against the Elders" and "Walt's Fault," as well as the quite natural cover of Edgar Winters' "Frankenstein." When the group wanders into more traditional rhythmic treatments -- as in "Speedball" -- Crawford and Meghrouni don't blend quite as well, and their struggle overpowers Atherton and the tune. Bazooka is at their best when the swinging is a secondarily punctuation to Crawford's fusion and prog syncopations, creating interesting figures and plenty of space for the teetering Atherton to wander about, exploring his group's unique sonic edges.

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