Friday, June 26, 2015

XADU, Random Abstract

In the realm of guitar-based fusion, all of course depends on the quality of the improvisations and the freshness of the compositions. We get both with the band XADU and their album Random Abstractions. It showcases the electric guitar excellence of Dusan Jevtovic and the fine drumming of Xavi Reija.

They have two previous albums that were covered on these pages (type in the search box above for the reviews): Dusan with Am I Walking Wrong and Xavi with Dusan and bassist Bernat Hernandez on Resolution. Both albums were very good. As the duet XADU they have moved a step further.

This is metal jazz if you like, with compositions that enliven things considerably and excellent musicianship. Dusan reminds ever so slightly of Terje Rypdal in his advanced harmonic-melodic ingenuity. Xavi drums with fervor and imagination, rocking freely with a pulse that is less tied to bar lines than it is additive and subtractive, which frees up the time and gives Dusan a flexibility in phrasing that allows him literally to take off.

The tunes are the opposite of formulaic. Dusan's "New Pop" has a chord progression that stays in your head uniquely. That may be the high point but it all has substance and innovative qualities.

This is an album that needs to be heard. Guitarists will have much to hear on this one, but everyone who responds to fusion will find something different and very much directionally ahead.

Highly recommended!

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