THE AVENGERS — On a Mission

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THE AVENGERS - On a Mission cover
4.00 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Fusion


1. On a Mission 3:32
2. After All 4:32
3. Exactly 6:32
4. Portia 7:41
5. Siddhartha's Return 4:24
6. Rauleando 5:33
7. No Big Deal 5:12
8. Jimmy O'donnell's Air 5:43


Beledo (guitar);
Adam Holzman (keys);
Lincoln Goines (bass);
Kim Plainfield (drums)

About this release

Gudari Records

Recorded at Kaleidoscope Sound, Union City, NJ

Thanks to snobb for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The Avengers are the latest jazz fusion super group put together by guitar virtuoso Beledo, and “On a Mission” is their first album. This is fusion with a capital ’F’, in other words this isn’t the rough roots jazz-rock of the early 70s, “Mission” is more in the abstract, sophisticated late 70s fusion style developed by artists like The Yellowjackets, Allan Holdsworth, Chad Wackerman and others as they sought a more unique language for the fusion style. This music is polished and sophisticated, but there is no lack of energy and the soloists really burn. The top soloist is of course Beledo, who will definitely be reminding people of the aforementioned Alan Holdsworth. There are some strong similarities between the two, but Beledo shows a stronger sense of syncopation in his phrases, possibly because of his musical background in Uruguay. Also, when it comes to sheer fleet fingered speed, sounds like Beledo may have a slight edge there too.

The other main soloist on ‘Mission’ is keyboardist Adam Holzman. Adam did a great job as keyboard orchestrator in his high profile gigs with Miles Davis, but I had no idea he could tear it up solo-wise like he does on here. Another big plus for Holzman is his use of analog (sounding?) synthesizers for his solos. Its nice to hear someone bring back the fine art of fusion synth soloing. Once considered a cheezy relic of the bygone 70s, synth solos have been making a comeback in the world of jazz lately.

One nice surprise on this CD is a cover of Miles’ “Portia” from the album “Tutu”. It’s unexpected because most jazz artists have pretty much ignored Miles 80s output, but “Portia” is a great tune and no doubt appealed to Holzman because he worked on the original version with Miles and Marcus Miller. Overall this is a very good fusion album and is recommended for fans of modern highly developed guitar technique, Beledo is one of the best guitarists out there these days.

Members reviews

kev rowland
This is the debut album by a jazz-fusion supergroup that has been put together by Uruguayan guitarist Beledo, with Adam Holzman (keys), Lincoln Goines (bass) and Kim Plainfield (drums). It would take too long to list all of the people these guys have played with, but just mentioning Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie should be enough to get you paying attention. I was playing this in the car the other day waiting for one of my daughters, and when she returned she was dismayed to find me with my eyes closed, moving gently to the music, and asked me if I was okay. I was more than okay, I had been taken to a different world altogether. Sometimes an album just grabs hold of you and refuses to let you go, transporting you through time and space to a dimension where nothing else matters apart from the music, and that is very much the case here.

I can’t explain what this album does to me, whether it is Beledo’s incredible fluidity or the way that Adam can switch between supporting roles and lead in his own right, or that the band just seem to be so incredibly tight. The photo of the band in the booklet shows them all facing each other as they record – no messing about here, this is all about interaction and a band actually being in the studio at the same time. We have all heard stories of drummers recording their parts and then disappearing until it is time to hear the final playback (read Peter Criss’s biography), but this album is organic and warm as everyone knows their part but plays not as an individual but very much as part of the band.

Adam was Miles’ keyboard player when they recorded ‘Tutu’, and on this album we find a version of “Portia”, which of course also appeared on that work. OF course, the instrumentation is now somewhat different and Beledo and Adam make this very much their own. This is an absolutely stunning piece of work, and fans of jazz-fusion need look no further.

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