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Unification by Plan 9

Vancouver, Canada-based drummer/educator Alex McKechnie commandeers this jazz-fusion trio with a loose groove, jam band mindset. They swing and funk it up on occasion while also investigating various time signatures. Electric guitarist Gordon Grdina executes diminutive phrasings amid breezy licks via slightly distorted effects and mainstream jazz choruses. Nonetheless, it’s a tightly integrated machine augmented by the band’s democratic methodology. They turn up the heat and temper the proceedings down in spots as McKechnie shines as a poetic soloist via his nicely arranged polyrhythmic fills. On the piece titled "Isolation," the trio renders a bump and grind motif, accelerated by Grdina’s edgy lines. Otherwise, the musicians complement their palate by occasionally merging African rhythmic patterns and dreamy blues grooves.

The band blends precision with capacious improvisational movements. Needless to state, they’re straight shooters. But they switch gears on the finale "Moia Lubov," where Jeremy Holmes’ bowed bass lines sets the pace for a somber muse that gravitates into an extended workout for Grdina. Overall, this unit doesn’t offer anything that hints of a jazz-fusion revelation. Then again, each musician plays a vital role, whether in the soloing category or from a compositional/riff standpoint. Essentially, they convey character and a strong sense of commitment here.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Plan 9
  • CD Title: Unification
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Rating: Three Stars
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