Jing Chi - 3D

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Tone Center
Catalog Number: TC 40322
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:11:00

Is it there are not enough good singers, that so many artists decide to leave the singer out and make an instrumental album? I have heard and reviewed several of them in the past weeks. Most of them tended to jazz / jazz rock / fusion, so I figured with the next one: yep, more of the same. Boy, am I relieved the second studio album of Jing Chi is somewhat different!

Jing Chi is a power trio: Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Robben Ford (guitar), Jimmy Haslip (bass) and their second studio effort, 3D, comes out with a harder edge than their debut album. Besides the three, several guest musicians add their elements to the total sound, thus adding some ambient parts to the music. Although the fusion elements are around, there is also a distinct blues feel to the album, but also a more (prog) rock touch, such as in "Time Is A Magazine," with hints of King Crimson. I like the heavy drums and sharp guitar here. Haslip adds a funky bass to it and the many hooks and changes, make it a bit of a weird song, but a nice one.

One songs stands out in a crowd: "It's Nobody's Fault But Mine." Interestingly enough, this song is not even composed by Jing Chi, but a cover of Blind Willie Johnson and believe me, this song alone justifies the purchase of the album! Cover or not, Jing Chi gives maybe their best performance here. Also this is the only vocal track, with none other than Robert Cray on vocals and guitar. In 14:38 Jing Chi brings their version of this song and it is fantastic! A nice blues rhythm and such great guitarparts, I'm glad the song lasts that long.

The only drawback, again, is the music is not exactly close to progressive rock, although some parts are. Still, this is a very good album and worth a try. If you want to give any of the fusion rock albums a try, I'd go for this one. With a strong production, the album sounds great and as I said, it has a few gems on it.

Distributed in Europe by Mascot Records

[This review originally appeared August 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Colonel Panic / Chi Town / Move On / Hidden Treasure / Time Is A Magazine / Mezzanine Blues / Blues Alley / It's Nobody's Fault But Mine / Tangled Up

Vinnie Colaiuta - drums, percussion
Robben Ford - guitars
Jimmy Haslip - bass, programming, synths, tambourine
Steve Tavaglione - soprano sax
Jason Galuten - programming, synths
Robert Cray - vocals and guitar (8)

Jing Chi (2002)
Jing Chi Live (2003)
3D (2004)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.robbenford.com
Hits: 799
Language: english


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