THE AVENGERS — On a Mission (review)

THE AVENGERS — On a Mission album cover Album · 2012 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
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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