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Colaiuta / Ford / Haslip: Jing Chi 2001, Tone Center Jing Chi is an album that will help you to appreciate how truly difficult it is to compose, execute, and produce an advanced instrumental collection. I can sense the struggle that occurred to invent the themes that are laced throughout this effort. Anybody who has endeavoured an attempt at inventing a melody line knows what I mean by this and can appreciate this struggle. And, when making an attempt at melodies that are outside of the normal diatonic harmonies, it is even more difficult to find appealing melody lines. But, there are some masters that do it so well that it makes us think that it is easy when it really is not. Jing Chi is a collection of mostly instrumental compositions that are somewhere towards the rock end of jazz fusion. The music is groove-based with grooves that disappointingly do not move as much as I would like. There seems to me to be a general lack of inspiration, direction, and captivation that is missing from this effort. The music just does not grab you and say "Hey! Come with me! We are going someplace you have never been before and you are gonna like it whether you think you are gonna like it or not!". It rather seems to wander aimlessly in a manner that encourages my attention elsewhere. This is not to say that there is not good playing or that there are not good musical ideas present, but the end effect just doesn't do it for me. The rhythms and riffs seem a little too stale for my palette, and there just is not enough drive and impulsion to attract my attention, though I do appreciate the attempt at out! side harmonization. In summarizing Jing Chi, instrumental rock and jazz fusion are a difficult undertaking. There are few artists that can pull it off as well as Shawn Lane, Greg Howe, Al Di Meola, Steve Morse, and the others in the upper echelon do. These masters do not leave much room for the others that are good, but not up to this world class stature. And, though I see some merit, it seems to me that Jing Chi just does not measure up to this current world class standard. The main shortcoming I see is that the music is not musical in an accessible manner that makes it satisfying to hear. 1) The Hong Kong Incident 2) Stan Key 3) Tengoku 4) Crazy House 5) Going Nowhere 6) Go Figure 7) Man In The Ring 8) In My Dream 9) Train Song 10) Aurora ~ Christopher Ruel ~ www.ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris@ChrisRuel.com
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