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4 stars Suprisingly no reviews but already 20 ratings with a score highly above 4, hmm... Is it better than the previous two CAB albums? I wouldn't say so, the quality is about the same. The music is laid back but containing a lot of great soloing, enough happening and clear music structure with good chord sequences. I like different bass sounds - normal, fretless. Drums are elastic, progressive and I appreciate some electronic drumming - programmed. Keyboards have more importance on this album. Another difference is that the speed of playing is generally slower but still masterfully executed. The first track is a typical energic song and could easily fit on any of the previous two albums. "Shizuka" is a mellow fretless bass accompanied track, a typical evening quiet fusion track. Guitar is soothing. "Tony Mac" has electronic drums that make the sound a bit more experimental but guitar playing and Fender Rhodes are very natural. The most intensive tracks are "Raymond" and "BB's Rhumba" with excellent piano, drumming and fretless bass with MacAlpine throwing in other virtuoso solos. "Bass ackward" has crazy bass slapping and creative drumming. It's maybe the only song without clear compositional direction, totally focused on jamming. "Jam and toast" is one of the more memorable tracks with jazz piano and clear simple motive. "Dede" is a fine last track with all typical ingredients of the CAB line-up with every player playing hell out of the instrument including Auger's Hammond.
Report this review (#2440614)
Posted Sunday, August 23, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars Regrettably, this style of jazz/rock fusion is not being championed by many younger musicians these days. But the seasoned veterans seem to keep re-grouping in different combinations, and once in a while they really do it up right. CAB is one of those groups, and their third cd, CAB4, is the best of their output. This album charges right out of the gate with the hard driving, groove-laden "Hold On", and sets the pace for the rest of the album. Not that there aren't some nice slower tunes too, but you LIVE for the typical showcase spots that let the soloists shine: Brunel is a fantastic master of the fretless bass, Chambers is a peerless drummer, Auger and Rushen add great atmospheres and riffs on keyboards, and MacAlpine never sounded better - he's left behind the metallic shred that crept into a couple of songs on the CAB1 cd, and lets his jazz chops shine like the sun here on this one. At close to 67 minutes long, this cd contains such a nice balance of groove, drive, funk, jazz and energy - and you'll remember the melodies long after the music stops! Reminiscent of bits from Return to Forever, Larry Coryell, Bill Bruford, Weather Report, Chick Corea's Elektric Band, and others from the 70's and 80's, this album is a great addition to the fusion canon.

With great musical rides at the lowest fares possible, you'll want to catch this CAB. 4-1/2 stars

Report this review (#2440722)
Posted Monday, August 24, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars CAB4 on Mascot Records, (M 7079 2) [66:49], just flew in from the Netherlands into my CD player and I am lovin' it. It's all too rare when I can pop in a CD and relish it the whole way through -- on a first listen too.

MacAlpine, Brunel, Auger, & Chambers have done it again. And a major bravo to Patrice Rushen on seriously superb Chick Corea-ish keyboardscapes and soloing!!

This release gives me the same feelings I got upon hearing RTF's Romantic Warrior the first time. Yeah, it is all that -- jazz fusion so tight, so slick, so melodic, so well executed, and compositions so engaging that it deserves a 12.5 out of 10. It is a laid-back groove in many spots but smokes enough here and there to satisfy hard-core fusion rockers needing egde and dymanics. It is not anywhere as dense and frenzied as Romantic Warrior weighed in so long ago but listen -- these guys could easily have pulled off a near perfect clone-tribute to RTF and thus gone the way of -- well ya know -- "that's nice, what else can ya do?" . . . Instead we get a solid 21st-century fusion groove that perfectly demonstrates how high-quality jazz fusion can be without all the extended "look-at-me" blowing going on.

The virtuosity of everyone is screaming out in the controlled unison lines, balanced voicing, tones, and phrasings. Be it bass, keys, axe or drums -- this release is magic! It's gonna be really hard for me to choose a favorite track!

In a nutshell, all you fusion fans who already own this -- you know what I mean dontcha -- and the rest of you folks need this NOW!

Report this review (#2582067)
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2021 | Review Permalink

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