Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Two recent CDs

I've gotten the two CDs I mentioned in my last entry, To the One by John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension and Renegade Creation from Robben Ford, Michael Landau, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak.

The McLaughlin one is pretty good. I found it not quite as terrific as his last release, 2008's Floating Point, but better than 2006's Industrial Zen. This one features his latest touring band, which consists of McLaughlin, keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband, bassist Etienne M'bappe, and drummer Mark Mondesir. The playing overall is top-notch. McLaughlin's playing has a lot of explosiveness. I especially enjoyed the contributions of Husband, who I know of originally as the drummer in Allan Holdsworth's I.O.U. band from the late 70's.

The Renegade Creation CD I found somewhat disappointing. Fine, exemplary (and beautifully recorded) guitar work from both Ford and Landau, and the band locks together well, but the songs just seem a little bit perfunctory. One in particular of Robben's is so cringe-worthy lyrically that I can't listen to it. After seeing them perform at Yoshi's in the winter, I expected a lot more from this project.

Meanwhile two more new disks arrived just yesterday, both from bassist/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/composer Richard Bona, one of my favorite musicians - his new release, Ten Shades of Blues, and the live Bona Makes You Sweat from 2008. I'll write about these later after I've had a chance to listen through a few times. For now suffice it to say I broke into a broad grin several times while listening to these the first time, and I'm once again dismayed that he is not more widely known...

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