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Jonas Hellborg - Good People In Times Of Evil (with  Lane & Selvaganesh ) CD (album) cover

GOOD PEOPLE IN TIMES OF EVIL (WITH LANE & SELVAGANESH )

Jonas Hellborg

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Very good Raga-jazz-fusion from 3 super-virtuosos.

As a guitarist who has always had an interest toward the fastest gun, Shawn Lane has become the king of that chops hill for me, and my exploration of his material brought me to this album. Lane spent most of the last years of his life collaborating with bass-master Jonas Hellborg, in two separate collaborations. The first, a fairly straightforward but jaw dropping jazz fusion outfit, and then the Indian trio that is recorded here.

This is not the album to buy if you just want to hear Shawn shred. (The title track from _Time is the Enemy_ is better for that.) Hellborg and tabla player Selvaganesh get more time to shine, though Lane gets a few nice spots. Lane's parts are cleaner than his usual warmly distorted, echo-y tone, and hold to melodic themes closer than usual. Hellborg is his usual monster self, but the surprise is Selvaganesh who not only plays percussion that would make Portnoy's head spin, but actually vocalizes the patterns in a tabla beat-boxing!?! section. The power of the rhythms here are not just limited to showmanship, however. There are extremely complex combinations of rhythmic groupings that the three players navigate seemingly without effort. 'Who would you like me to be?' is a highlight in that regard, despite Lane's soloing being about as slow and straightforward as he gets on that song.

For those who have not studied Indian music before, many of the serious players study their instruments under masters in lifelong study that easily matches professional classical musicians. The level of training of the best tabla percussionists is almost unrivaled among drummers in the Western world. This album showcases this well.

There are some of us who come to prog to hear music that is just completely beyond anything our brains could ever produce. As you digest more and more music, it's harder to find. This album will have some new twists and turns that is sure to interest and dazzle any deep music lover with a taste for chops. Not for everyone but very rewarding for those who are able to appreciate it.

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Posted Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Review Permalink

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