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Sean Malone - Cortlandt CD (album) cover

CORTLANDT

Sean Malone

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.85 | 20 ratings

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justaguy
4 stars Sean Malone is the bassist who played in an obscure metal band, "Cynic" in the beginning of the 90-s. After the disbanding of Cynic he decided to do something completely different: fusion. In 1996 he recorded Cortlandt (reissued in 2007) and after that he organized Gordian Knot, the fusion band where Bill Bruford and Steve Hackett played. Yeah, it is getting warmer now, isn't it? The collaborations of Bruford always fascinated me, and Hackett doesn't collaborate very often? Sean Malone teaches Music Theory at the University of Central Missouri now. Well, this musician is surely worth a research, let's cut this "Knot".

"Cortlandt" is an impressive fusion/jazz-rock album which is hardly comparable with anything else. Well, there is the song "The Big Idea", the only one with vocals (chorus) in it, which could be placed next to "Birdland" on the album "Heavy Weather" of Weather Report. The rest of the record is instrumental, with outstandingly played strong, complex compositions. Malone's fretless bass and stick make lots of music here, without being too dominant. Except for "Sinfonia" actually, a piece of Bach that Malone played alone, on stick. And it sounds unpredictably natural this way, as if Bach had written it for stick. The electric guitar is important on the album as well. Malone works here together with 4 different guitarists. One name you will surely recognize: Trey Gunn of the late King Crimson. He quite amazes with his beautiful solo on Warr guitar in "Big Sky Wanting". Of the other guitarists on "Cortlandt" I find Bob Bunin the most impressive. He weaves his solos through the bass solos of Malone, in a very subtle and elaborated way. Behind the drums we find the old comrade of Malone's from Cynic, Sean Reinert. Fortunately, this guy is also capable of switching styles. His drumming does not sound at all like the technical metal of Cynic. The arrangements are filled with pretty keyboards work by Malone self. The piano melody on "Fischer's Gambit" is just amazing.

This is a beautiful record. The only minus point is that the coda's are not adequately thought over. Some songs finish a little too abrupt.

justaguy | 4/5 |

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