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No Fast Food (David Liebman, Drew Gress, and Phil Haynes)


Review by Gary Hill

This double CD set is intriguing It's all jazz-based, but it's more often than not experimental and freeform. This is probably not quite like anything you've ever heard before. It's entertaining and unusual. I have landed it under progressive rock because it is definitely art music and along the fusion lines (which we always land under prog).

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Track by Track Review
Disc One

Trippy percussive concepts are on the menu here. There is a real spacey angle to this.

The Universal E
Coming in even more sedate than the previous number, percussion holds this for quite a while. Then a wooden flute rises up lending some melody to the mix.
DL Five
This is a minute long sax solo.
Beloved Refracted
Minimalist percussion gets things started. Saxophone joins, and then bass does so, too. This is the most traditional jazz thing to this point on the album.
To Swing or Not (II)
Starting with another mainstream jazz groove, this shifts toward more freeform stuff as it continues. This thing gets pretty crazed at times. This works through a number of twists, turns and changes.
Where's The Door
This has some pure jazz and more exploratory stuff both on the agenda. The bass gets a chance to really shine.
Some Sick Slick
A short piece (a little less than two minutes), the focus is on percussion and bass. It's an unusual, but quite cool number. There is a quick burst of saxophone at the end of this.
Percussion gets this underway. Bass gets in on it after a while. Then the saxophone takes it all by itself. After a while it becomes more of a group effort in an experimental jazz arrangement.
DL Two
Less than a minute long, this is a saxophone solo.
Things Lee
I love the bass work on this track. The song sits more along the lines of experimental jazz, with an often sparse arrangement. That said, there are parts that lean closer to mainstream jazz.
Disc Two
The Universal A

Percussion starts this, and it evolves into more of the kind of sound we're used to here.

DL Four
Strange, twisted, saxophone sounds create a haunting, unearthly atmosphere on this number.
Befitting the title, a saxophone starts this by itself and holds it for about a third of the running time. Then that drops away and the bass commands it, again alone. A full ensemble treatment does come in later with more of a slow moving experimental jazz arrangement.
Music du Jour Too
This is more of the kind of experimental meets mainstream jazz we've come to expect. It works through some changes and has a good dynamic range.
Jour Now
Starting with percussion, this eventually explodes out into intense and crazed jamming.
A Lil' Iowa Get-Down
I really dig the energized groove on this a lot. The bass takes a solo mid-track. A full group treatment takes over again after that.
To Swing Or Not (I)
This cut has moments that swing and others that are set in chaotic crazed experimental zones. It drops back for a saxophone solo later in the track. It gets back into more full group treatment later.
Music du Jour
A percussion solo starts things here, and that makes up quite a bit of the beginning of the track. Eventually a more ensemble arrangement emerges. There is a bass solo later in the song.
DL One
Less than a minute-and-a-half long, this is another saxophone solo.
Weird trippy percussion makes up more than half of this track. A saxophone wails slowly after the halfway point, and the bass can be heard with a sparse arrangement in the backdrop. This continues on with more freaky, spacey sounds.

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