The Vizitors

Traveling By Invisible Map

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The Vizitors, from Detroit, feature Kenneth Green on electric keyboards, saxophonist Skeeter Shelton, and drummer Dushun Mosley. They incorporate Sun Ra-like space motifs, poetry, dancers, postmodern idiomatic themes, and free jazz. Of the nine selections -- some recorded in performance at Xhedos Cafe in Ferndale, MI -- all are written or co-written by Green. At their most tuneful and jazzy, "Hit Me with Your Beeper Baby" is a three-minute snippet with bluesy saxophone and harp-sounding keys. A 5/4 to 4/4 groove to free funk anchors "Indigenous Shuffle" with Shelton's tenor, while "The Embrace" is bluesy, slow to frantic. Spacy clusters and Jane Ira Bloom-type soprano whooshes accent "Interstellar Colors." Sustained sounds from soprano and keyboards with pan flute and mbira colors lead to wailing and circus calliope inferences on "Celebration on the Forest Floor/Raindrops." The biting-edge poetry of Faruq Z. Bey is heard on the interstellar "Hip Hop Nursery Rhymes" and to greater effect on "Contos," a statement about Tyree Guyton's controversial Heidelberg Project. These pieces showcase the Vizitors at their creative best. Julie McKelphin also sings in a June Tyson reverie for a darkly hued "The Untitled Visitor." There is also a Miles Davis/Jack Johnson-like hard funk on "Wigging & Gigging," the lone Mosley composition, with bleating soprano and the drummer's powerhouse beat. This recording suffers from poor production values, a muddy mix, drop outs, distant microphone placements, and distortion. If it were done again, the music -- which holds a certain amount of interest -- would turn more heads and ears.