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“Another version of Green Dolphin Street? I can hear the groans already, but you will want to give the old chestnut a chance, with pianist John Funkhouser's clever arrangement. Bassist Greg Loughman and drummer Mike Connors provide an undulating rhythm over which Funkhouser (what a great name for a musician, by the way!) can do his thing. The band takes the song into a swirling maelstrom in the middle section and reminds you of why you loved going down that "Street" in the first place. "Ellipse" follows and is an awesome polyrhythmic number, with the left hand of the piano in 5/8, the right hand in 7/8 and the bowed bass in 6/8 (the drums play a 35 beat pattern on top of it). This "math experiment" sounds anything but - and proves again that complexity can sound organic. On the rest of this freewheeling album, Funkhouser and band take on Bach ("Fugue in A minor" - down as a Latin piano trio number-- complete with a prelude on cowbell). There is humor inherent in these numbers, as well as political commentary - as in "Dyin' Nation/Emancipation" and "Ode to a Lame Duck" - both of which delightfully celebrate the end of the Bush II regime. But lest you think it is all fun and games, be aware that these cats have some major chops. The odd time signatures continue on the funky (with a swinging B-section) "Eleventy One" (in 11/8) and the sizzling "Ode" (which moves from 13/8 to 7/4 to 9/2) and these guys handle it all seamlessly. Two more covers - waltzing takes on "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "Alone Together" - as well as the gently swaying "Kelp" are luminous and prove that these guys can play nice when they want to. The talented Funkhouser - also a bassist of note - is currently a teacher at Berklee and has been heard on over 40 recordings. He has an interest and background in a wide range of musical styles form classical to world music to avant garde to funk and rock - and this sense of wonder and love of a kaleidoscope of musical styles really manifests itself on this admirable release.”

Brad Walseth, JazzChicago.net, March 2010


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