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From Jeff Arnal’s imprint comes an interesting concoction of styles and personalities at the border of progressive jazz and improvisation. Fulminate Trio are Michael Evans (drums, percussion), Ken Filiano (double bass) and Anders Nilsson (guitar), all three members also using electronics throughout. Evans has worked with God Is My Co-Pilot and at least two Parkers (William and Evan), Filiano has been active for years amidst luminaries such as Vinny Golia, Bobby Bradford and Nels Cline, and Nilsson’s past collaborators include Sabir Mateen, Raoul Björkenheim and Kermit Driscoll. Starting with a delicate rendition of Carla Bley’s “Floater”, the CD rapidly shifts gears in a manner that might or might not be particularly inspired by the pre-syrup era of Bill Frisell (circa Lookout For Hope); there are also occasional moments of ascension (pun intended) towards jarring harshness and visceral robustness, Filiano’s timbre often so full that my headphones buzz. Evans’ solid drumming is by no means excessively brutal, holding the group together in a concerted effort brimming with repressed instrumental expletives, but Nilsson attempts to fuse Frisell, early McLaughlin and maybe a pinch of Tisziji Muñoz into a single molten alloy, to be honest not always succeeding. Although executed with the right intentions and commitment, this music functions only in spurts, usually the most violent ones, almost never reaching peaks of meaningfulness.

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