Rockin' Teenage Combo, 6/4 Getaway InnerSPACE 7709, 2000 Phone: 206-523-5249 E-mail: email@example.com Cyberhome: www.innerSPACErecords.com Hailing from Seattle, Rockin' Teenage Combo is an eclectic trio that melds the "jam band" stylings of Medeski, Martin & Wood with the cutting-edge club sounds of drum-n-bass. The first four tracks on 6/4 Getaway are labeled "side A" and feature the group in an acoustic setting. Pianist Dara Quinn, bassist PK, and drummer Oliver Klomp are hot, wrapping funky, angular grooves around odd meters. Highlights include "BH," with its hip free jazz references and some great playing by Klomp, and "Somebody Else's Umbrella," which recalls the minimalistic, insistent piano work of Ahmad Jamal.
The next five tracks are labeled "side B" and feature the group's electric stylings. Quinn is heard on keyboards rather than piano, while Klomp is replaced by Dave Hill on drums and samples. "Slinkshot," a frenetic drum-n-bass workout, is followed by "Level 5," which begins with atmospheric textures and evolves into a 5/4 funk groove that sounds like something War might have come up with. Then "Gotcha," a 70s-style psychedelic funk romp, is followed by a multi-metric exercise called "Nkelo." Wrapping up the set is the dark-hued and slow "Blues for Ballard," featuring Quinn on tasty electric piano.
While the album sounds raw and full of energy, there's a certain stasis, or perhaps aimlessness, to the music overall. The group tends to meander, but there's definitely much to be said for their musicianship and rhythmic panache. ~David R. Adler
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