2011-09-08A trifecta of fusion, “Jazz Pistols” features guitarist Stefan Ivan Schafer, Christoph Kaiser (another Berklee alum!) on 6 string bass, and drummer Thomas Lui Ludwig who has performed with Jeff Beck and Chaka Khan. Superstring is their fifth studio album. There’s not a bad track on this CD! Songs 1-2-3 are so enjoyable…but so are 5 and 7… The album has been described as ballads and hard groves; it features masterful switching time signatures. The title track “Superstring” catches your attention at just how talented these German musicians are. It is the best tune on the CD. Track 2 is another bit of fusion genius: “Chick San,” or rather sans Chick, pays homage to Chick Corea, but takes on a different turn. According to the liner notes, the trio wrote Berns Rotation (#3) envisioning Leonard Bernstein rolling in his grave at their treatment of his “America” melody from West Side Story. It’s a generous adaptation of that song…and features guitar synthesizer via MIDI that echoes the stylings of Jean-Luc. “SMBH” (Super Massive Black Hole) doesn’t sound anything like the Muse tune of the same name. “SMBH” again features buoyant guitar synth. “Three Views of a Secret,” a Jaco Pastorius / “Weather Report” cover, is better than the original in my opinion. Ivan’s guitar flight is warm and soothing. “Sex in a Pan,” a cover by Victor Wooten of “Bela Fleck and the Flecktones” is a nice take on the original. “Old Fart” is a free-jazz number that has the feel of a focused improvisation and “Rubicon” is a quiet end to this energetic CD with acoustical guitar solos by Schafer. The “Jazz Pistols” have created Superstring to be true to what they can reproduce live on stage. My guess is they don’t disappoint. – Pam VandeKerkhoff
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