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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Six String Evolution




1. Papa Gato (P. Sanchez)
2. Madame Grenouille (J. Keezer)
3. We'll Be Together Again (Laine, Fischer)
4. Archibald's Dance (D. Badila)
5. From the Bottom of My Heart (S. Wonder)
6. Meu Bom Velho (My Dear Sir) (M. Resende)
7. Brother to Brother (G. Vanelli)
8. Amar a Maria (To Love Maria) (F. Machado)
9. Compared to What (G. McDaniels)
10. Dawn Ballad (A. Öberg)
11. Maniac (M. Sembello)

Andreas Öberg: electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
Darmon Meader: saxophones, vocals
Filo Machado: vocals, vocal percussion
Dave Kikoski: piano, Rhodes
John Patitucci: acoustic & electric bass
Decebal Badila: electric bass
Lewis Nash: drums
Charlie Bisharat: violins
Enzo Todesco: percussion
Antal Steixner: cajon
Marius Preda: cymbalom
John Beasley: synthesizer, percussion, vibes solo
Rec. November 2009, Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ


The Swedish guitarist Andreas Öberg hitches up with Resonance Records for another hour long album, along with like-minded confreres such as drummer Lewis Nash and bassist John Patitucci. A look at some of those colleagues will alert one to the battery of percussive potential available. Indeed Latin is very much to the fore, not least in the first track, Papa Gato, with its busy piano solo, and good tenor. On Madame Grenouille the leader exudes some George Benson licks, spurred on by the very able and industrious piano comping of Kikoski, and Nash's ever change drum patterns, which always manage to keep rhythmic flare to the forefront but, rather more pertinently, aids the frontline no end by its flexibility.

Slow and elegant but not too melancholy We'll Be Together Again is the leader's arrangement but perhaps more diverting, because of the greater range of textures on offer, is Archibald's Dance; funky bass, cimbalom and Magyar hues seem the way forward for this though ultimately, and disappointingly, it takes refuge in all-purpose fusion. Stevie Wonder's From the Bottom of My Heart is fluent, but bland, whilst there's a Big Easy feel to Compared to What which, with its bluesy piano, is much more energising.

In the end this all feels too unfocused an album easily to recommend. At its best it promises plenty of interesting textures and conjunctions - the cimbalom, the percussion - but Öberg, a fine though ultimately unadventurous musician, fails to develop this seed into something genuinely worthwhile.

Jonathan Woolf

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