Count Mbutu

See the Sun

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Bright and airy, the debut record from the former Aquarium Rescue Unit percussionist Count M'butu features a virtual who's who of the powerful Atlanta-Athens jam band axis, including members of the Allman Brothers Band (Oteil Burbridge, Chuck Leavell), the Aquarium Rescue Unit (Jimmy Herring, Matt Mundy, Jeff Sipe), and Widespread Panic (David Schools, JoJo Hermann, Todd Nance), as well as many others. Most of the tracks blend into a comfortable polyrhythmic tapestry that highlights featured vocalist Graciela Lopex. Unfortunately, the ease with which the band fits together often borders on easy listening groove music, often helped along by platitude-filled lyrics. At its best, the disc overflows with joy, its blend of richly textured percussion and acoustic instruments keeping the music from getting weighed down by the size of the ensemble.

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