Barry Romberg

Random Access, Pt. 3

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Drummer Barry Romberg's Random Access, Pt. 3 serves as proof that creative fusion, although overshadowed by other styles of music, is still very much alive. The brand of fusion played by Romberg's ensemble is closer to early Weather Report than to the pure virtuosity of Return to Forever or the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The pieces, some of which sound like group improvisations, are full of adventure and unpredictability, occasionally meandering but at other times reaching logical conclusions. Although there are spots for trumpeter Kevin Turcotte and saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, the main emphasis is on the keyboards of Greg de Denus and Romberg, and the electronic rhythm section. While not every piece is a gem ("The Long Haul" gets a bit tedious), overall this is a worthy set.

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