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VÖ: 11.02.2011
All-Star-Fusion-Project! Supple melodies dance over shape-shifting modes and contrasting instrumental voicings. The players carve deep jazz- and funk-based grooves while playfully displacing beats and inverting expectations around every corner.

China Ranch, an import-album from Frank Briggs, was released in 2008, while recently it became regularly available in Europe too. Don’t expect some modernized Asian Country & Western though based on ist title. The servants on this ranch are especially experienced specialists on working on jazz-rock fields. Keyboard-players Kit Walker, Steve Weingart and Jeff Babko, guitarist Frank Gambale and bass-players Ric Fierabracci and Jimmy Earl are well established names in the genre and they are being accompanied by countless other musicians who control this technique perfectly too. The source of inspiration, Briggs, is known for his work as drum-teacher and China Ranch is his solo-debut. It is striking that besides his drum-work he also adds keyboards to every track. This probably indicates his progressive rock-attitude, which he confirms with his participation on Circus Of Sounds from OHM, the group from former Megadeth-guitarist Chris Poland, which was also released in 2008. Briggs is a lover of groovy fusion, in which whipping up rhythms lay a fruitful base for exalted but always melodic keyboard-, bass- and guitar-solo’s which are embedded amongst firm and compelling theme’s. All ten pieces have a length of about seven minutes, which gives these solo’s and theme’s, together with a dynamic variety, full, often symphonic sounding arrangements and soundscape-like passages the opportunity to deliver beautifully constructed compositions, amongst which ballads which are rooted into jazz aren’t missing either. The tension is being increased until an exciting closing trio, with a razor-sharp solo from Gambale forming the climax. Therefore we can say this is a lovely, adventurous album, more or less comparable with variations on Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and Weather Report without saxophones and modern versions from Tony Williams New Lifetime and Return To Forever. By the way, China Ranch was inspired by a homonymous farm in the Mojave desert nearby the Southern Death Valley. René Yedema/www.iopages.nl

Frank Briggs: composer, drums, keyboards, programming;
Brian Price: guitar (1-7,9);
Kit Walker: Fender Rhodes, synths (1, 3, 7, 8);
Steve Weingart: piano, Fender Rhodes, synths (2-4, 6, 9);
Ric Fierabracci: bass (1-3, 5, 7, 10);
Mitchel Forman: Fender Rhodes, blowtorch, piano (5, 10);
Frank Gambale: guitar (10);
Mark Doyle: guitar (8);
Travis Carlton: bass (4);
Chris Golden: bass (6, 8);
Jeff Babko: Fender Rhodes, synths (9);
Jimmy Earl: bass (9).
Rich Breen; mix engineer

Format: CD | Cat-No:11994 | Price: € 4,99  

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