Jing Chi – 3D

Jing ChiJing Chi
(Shrapnel – 2004)
by John Thompson

It starts out sounding like a rock cd, and that’s ok because it ends up sounding like a really nice fusion cd. The outstanding members of the band, producer Jimmy Haslip (B), Robben Ford (G) and big time basher Vinnie Colaiuta (D), are joined by two well-knows Larry Goldings (organ) and bluesman Robert Cray (G, vocals on It’s nobody’s fault …). The chefs are cooking at times, but let’s get Move on out of the kitchen. It doesn’t belong here.

I love Chi Town for its challenging rhythms and Colaiuta’s drum fills and lessons. Hidden Treasure brings to mind fusion group Brand X, and although he does very little, the organ sound adds a nice touch. With a funky beat and a mean bass solo, plus varying tempo changes, Mahavishnu’s The Dance of Maya from 1973 is resurrected on Time is a Magazine. Don’t get lost in the rhythm or Ford’s solo when listening to the tricky Mezzanine Blues. Thanks to Ford’s use of wah wah and Calaiuta feeling Cobham-ish, true 70’s jazz-rock comes to life on Tangled Up.

This is great fusion that only lacks an active keyboard. Robben Ford can do it. My suggestion: David Sancious. 4 ½ stars.