Metalwood

The Recline

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    6
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After three strong Canadian indie releases, the jazz-funk band Metalwood broke out to American audiences with The Recline. There's a less experimental, more hook-oriented flavor to this record, but still a great deal of energetic interplay and hip, jazz-centric improv. Brad Turner plays equally well on keyboards and trumpet (not unlike George Colligan), while Mike Murley switches between tenor and soprano sax, blowing nicely over the heavy grooving of bassist Chris Tarry and drummer Ian Froman. Guest appearances by John Scofield and Mino Cinelu generate added excitement, not to mention additional PR buzz. But DJ Logic's inclusion on two cuts doesn't add up to much -- the band sounded closer to hip-hop and drum'n'bass on parts of Metalwood 3, where, strangely enough, there was no DJ in sight. "Steeplejack" and "New Pants" have a kind of soul-jazz swagger, while "Mr. Mike" leans heavily toward acoustic jazz and "U.B. the Monster" is strongly reminiscent of Jaco-era Weather Report. Packed with good, solid melodies, The Recline is more accessible, and a bit less adventurous, than Metalwood's previous work.

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