CD: George Muscatello’s “Angel Dust”
(Collar City Records, 2010):
Whatever you might expect this record to be, you’d be wrong.
I’d like to end the review right there, but I realize that wouldn’t really be very helpful, would it?
OK, well then how about this: Whatever you expect this record to be, it’s more than that.
Still not enough?
Alright, alright, I’ll try…
George Muscatello is best known as a jazz guitarist, both bold and adventurous. This album is more than that. It’s not a jazz album. It might not actually even be a guitar album, for that matter. It is, however, bold and adventurous.
Some facts: At the core, Muscatello is joined by drummer Danny Whelchel and bassist Mike Del Prete. Brian Patneaude lends his sax to “Tons of Fun.” Keyboardist Adrian Cohen joins in on “Variations On a Variation.” Poets Pierre Joris and Nicole Peyrafitte tone a few brief spoken word introductory interludes. The album was recorded over the course of several years at Bender Studios in Delmar.
Some more facts: The disc clocks in at just 27 minutes long, and yet it’s richer, more densely packed than than a box set of 72-minute CDs. All of the album’s six original pieces were inspired by a 1984 work by the Cuban composer-guitarist Leo Brouwer titled “Variations on a Theme of Django Reinhardt.” But don’t expect to hear any Gypsy jazz swing here.
One more fact: I’ve never heard another album that sounds like this. It pretty much defies description. And that’s a big compliment.