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Jul 23, 2018







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Dead Cross, Dead Cross (Ipecac Recordings)




Kent Miller Quartet, Minor Step (Tnek Jazz Records)

This is the newest project from jazz upright bassist Miller, a 59-year-old who was a private student of Duke Ellington fixture Wendell Marshall, which led to a slot with the George Hudson Big Band. This is a great one if you’re in need of something that ups the ante from espresso-bar-chill, as Miller does keep a loose grip on the reins of his personnel, starting with drummer Greg Holloway’s enthusiastic but polite-enough solo in album opener “Work Out,” an appropriately titled hard-bop whiz-banger written by the underreported ’60s sax pro Hank Moberly. Miller proceeds to cut loose himself on the next track, a redo of Paul Chambers’ “Visitation,” and, again, it’s a show of skill rather a simple-minded interruption. The title track shows up after that, an original tune that keeps its knuckleball trapeze-act rhythm securely suspended mid-air through Darius Scott’s firm grip on the acoustic piano. Wes Montgomery’s busy “SOS” sounds like it must have been a nightmare to eke out in the studio, but it feels as effortless as anything else here. Miller’s leadership is terrific everywhere you drop the needle. A+ Eric W. Saeger




Dead Cross, Dead Cross (Ipecac Recordings)
CD Reviews: August 31, 2017

08/31/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Dead Cross, Dead Cross (Ipecac Recordings)

I won’t say this record heralds an entirely new genre, but the debut from this somewhat-supergroup definitely sets a high bar for unabashed-punk oi-metal, at least for this generation. Led by Faith No More’s Mike Patton and ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, this bunch really, really wants people to break stuff, leveraging a preaching-to-the-choir lyrical approach based around the Trump-hysteria noise, bolting Slayer sounds directly onto top-prime 1970s punk, and letting Lombardo jack the drums until they, too, want to break stuff. Patton wasn’t keen on doing this, so they say, but he fits right in, leaving the phony Cookie Monster vocal nonsense by the stoop and switching back and forth from several different “singing” methods, from Jello Biafra to Misfits to Tom Araya. Yes, this all adds up to your basic Exploited album, but Lombardo’s effort breaks the mold — just imagine all those years of laying down the percussion hammer for Slayer and then teaming that guy with Patton, whose genius is indisputable, on a 100-percent hardcore trip. Plus a cover of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead?” A no-brainer. A Eric W. Saeger





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