Silent Conversations

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Several years ago, the pop-fusion band Oceans was the pride and joy of Milwaukee, dominating the city's club scene and playing the National Anthem at Bucks games. Now, their charismatic saxman heads a new ensemble, Streetlife with Warren Wiegratz, whose silk meets rock/funk turn Silent Conversations captures the same sort of playful, lighthearted energy of the old band, with one crucial mistake that sinks the engaging flow-vocals. Aggressive notions like "Assume" and the frolicsome rolling rhythms of "Brazilia" rise above some of the play it safe, radio ready niceties, and the band's sax dominated approach is sharply enhanced by Terry Sims on keyboards and Peter Mac's breezy guitar tales. But the bland, sappy tunes (especially the tepid cover of Toto's "Georgy Porgy") sung by Donna Woodall (with one by Sims) are simply deterrents away from the band's many instrumental charms. Wiegratz would be wise to keep these conversations wordless, unless the lounge life is his immediate goal.

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