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Category Archives: Gregg Bendian

El Percusionista y compositor Gregg Bendian es un personaje poco común: un músico con serias credenciales de free jazz que también profesa una gran afición por el rock progresivo de los 70′. Independientemente de la categoría musical, Gregg Bendian’s Interzone es un conjunto fenomenal y la segunda edición de la banda es su declaración más fuerte hasta ahora. Bendian controla el vibráfono y la lira, con Alex Cline y Liebig Steuart hábilmente navegando en batería y el bajo. Nels Cline, el hermano de Alex y uno de los mejores improvisadores de guitarra eléctrica de hoy, completa el cuarteto.

Categóricamente hablando, Myriad merece la atención como uno de los principales lanzamientos de fusión posterior al 2000 o, para el caso, cualquier año. Nítido y claro como el hielo crujiente y al mismo tiempo fundido caliente, es una maravilla escuchar.

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Percussionist/composer Gregg Bendian is an unusual character: a musician with serious free jazz credentials who also professes a fondness for 1970’s-style progressive rock. Regardless of musical category, Gregg Bendian’s Interzone is a phenomenal ensemble and the band’s second release, Myriad on the Atavistic label, is its strongest statement so far. The CD’s closest stylistic antecedent might be the initial incarnation of Pierre Moerlen’s Gong, which during the late ’70s featured Alan Holdsworth’s electric guitar pyrotechnics propelled along by a crisp and driving rhythm section that included vibraphone, glockenspiel, and other tuned percussion in addition to bass and drums. Bendian handles the vibes and glock on Interzone’s Myriad, with Alex Cline and Steuart Liebig ably navigating the leader’s charts on drums and bass. Nels Cline, Alex’s brother and one of today’s finest electric guitar improvisors, rounds out the quartet. While the Pierre Moerlen ensemble of nearly a quarter-century ago ultimately fell prey to many of the same stylistic missteps that afflicted other ’70s fusionists, Gregg Bendian’s Interzone makes no compromises for the sake of commercial appeal in a jazz market now largely split between soft and retro.

Bendian is a very nimble and accomplished soloist and accompanist on the vibes and glock. As a composer and bandleader, he confidently steers the band away from the jazz-pop or new age comfort zone, even during atmospheric pieces like the opening “Interzonia 1” in which the bright timbres of the tuned percussion are prominent. (“Interzonia 1” is dedicated to filmmaker David Cronenberg, which should say something about the darker sensibilities at work.) The vibes’ crystalline clarity (sans resonator-produced vibrato) is even pushed in the direction of distorted noise rather than soft shimmer. Elsewhere, as on the track “Intrepid,” Interzone executes a fervent swing that is perhaps the quartet’s biggest stylistic tip-of-the-hat to the jazz tradition. Categorically speaking, Myriad deserves attention as one of the top post-fusion releases of 2000 or, for that matter, any year. Crisp and clear as crackling ice and simultaneously molten hot, it is a wonder to hear.

writen by David Lynch, Rovi