Sonic Reducer

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This live, two-CD release chronicles the energetic, contemporary sound of the dodecatet 10 years into its existence. Pianist/composer/arranger Lindner, who contributes six of the nine original compositions, has created a big band for the modern age. He pulls from Afro-Cuban, bebop, free jazz and Middle Eastern traditions, among others, to tailor tunes to his personnel. Though it has the punch and power, the textures and polyphony of a big band, this aggregation also has the nimbleness and elasticity of a small combo, with lively ensemble playing and adventurous soloing. Here’s hoping Lindner can keep it together for another 10 years. (MM)

Various Artists The Harlem Experiment (Ropeadope)

From the label that brought us the Philadelphia and Detroit Experiments comes the latest installment of geographically based releases, this one focusing exclusively on New York’s Harlem neighborhood. The premise goes something like this: Take musicians from different stylistic backgrounds and generations, put them in a room and hope for the best. The result is a commingling of jazzy funk, salsa, hip-hop and R&B that doesn’t rest on the laurels of the neighborhood’s music makers of old. Rather, it stands on their shoulders to see into the famous locale’s sonic niches, where something more youthful and wholly different exists. (SM)

Various Artists Crunk Hits Vol 4 (TVT Records)

I, for one, am elated that Crunk Hits Vol 4 has finally been released for the world’s crazy-drunk listening pleasure. Infested with clichéd refrains, cheap-sounding synthesizers, male chauvinism, a shameless lack of talent and a bunch of guys yelling "hey!" from time to time, Vol 4 (compared to the original Crunk Hits released back in ’05, along with general standards of decency in music) is a total piece of shit, made for and by complete tools. Tune your radio to "Wiiiiiild 106" and you’ll probably hear this entire album. (JCC)

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