Jing Chi - Jing Chi Live

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Tone Center Records
Catalog Number: TC 4026 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:38:00

I admit to be jealous at times. Jealous that I can't play any instrument at all. If you listen to fusion, then you know what a great feeeling it must be to complement each other. More so than any other style of music, jazz does exactly that, giving each single musician plenty of opportunities to do his or her thing to the best of his or her abilities. Putting together three of the world's best musicians results in a musical orgasm that is a treat both for the musician as well as the unexpecting music lover. Jing Chi consists of top of the range musicians who all have plenty of experience in order to deliver some cooking music noone else would be able to produce.

Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bass player Jimmy Haslip both played with Steely Dan and this reference alone should be more than enough if you're a music buff. Vinnie also worked alongside Frank Zappa and Sting whilst Jimmy lent his talents to the likes of Tommy Bolin and Gino Vannelli before founding his very own fusion outfit the Grammy-nominated Yellowjackets. Add to that the unique guitar sound of Robben Ford who was a member of the band backing Miles Davis in '86 and you get a clear picture of the sheer genius that houses inside this Jing Chi. Although keeping a respectable distance, for these live outings the trio has also incorporated keyboardplayer Otmaro Ruiz.

Recorded over three consecutive nights at Yoshi's, in Oakland, CA, it's mainly Ruiz's piano solos that put the band in a jazz direction, whilst all the other elements firmly put the label fusion onto Jing Chi's music. Opening track "That Road" immediately puts spice into it all fuelled by Vinnie's powerful groove. The nice thing with this kind of music is also the fact that the audience has respect for its musicians, resulting in absolute silence when it's needed, which is why you can hear every subtle detail of the quiet intro to "Going Nowhere." Again I will be very honest here and tell you that I don't find Ruiz's contributions fitting to this song at all. Much better is his organ intervention during "The Hong Kong Incident," which is yet another highlight for Robben Ford giving it a slight Niacin feel. Sometimes you wonder who is enjoying this music more: the musicians or the audience? During "Stan Key," Robben demonstrates his wah-wah technique whilst a softer, almost George Benson-like side is heard during "What Goes Around." It's out with the funky horses in "Crazy House" in which Ruiz attacks his synth as if he were Alan Gowen's twin brother. Contrary to what you might think, in order to break down the monotony of all instrumental music (although you never get bored with these guys!), Jing Chi also includes some vocal tracks in their set. One of them is the Bob Dylan cover "Cold Irons Bound" sung here by Robben Ford in a slight funky/cajun style. The musical enjoyment gets a final highlight when Marc Russo adds his alto saxophone on the laidback "Blues MD," which holds the middle between authentic blues and jazz. In fact it's the blues format which enables every single musician to shine individually. And a well deserved ovation it is!

Recorded live at Yoshi's, Jack London Square, Oakland, CA, december 12th, 13th and 14th 2002

Distributed in Europe through Mascot Records

That Road (7:04) / Going Nowhere (8:22) / The Hong Kong Incident (10:28) / Stan Key (8:17) / What Goes Around (6:34) / Crazy House (7:06) / Cold Irons Bound (6:45) / Blues MD (14:38)

Robben Ford - guitar, vocals
Jimmy Haslip - bass
Vinnie Colaiuta - drums


Otmaro Ruiz - keyboards
Marc Russo - alto saxophone

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

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: August 24th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.robbenford.com
Hits: 596
Language: english


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