Ian Simmonds

Return to X

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For Return to X, Ian Simmonds picks his way through jazz and techno, with a host of '60s spy music influences and enough good ideas to pack at least a pair of LPs. Though his repetitive bass figures and overt swing-jazz imitations make the first two tracks a bit bland, he's far better off later on when leaning toward dance and film music, as on the electro-tinged "No Bamboo" and "Alvin's Blues." "Ocean Hill" is another standout, with an atmosphere of wariness culled from an assortment of deep beats, paranoid clarinet lines, and the spider-thin chords of a spinet. Whether summoning the spirit of John Barry or Lonnie Liston Smith, Simmonds proves an adept producer of the postmodern vision of jazz fusion.

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