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CD REVIEW

The groove is strong on fusion effort

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Richie Goods & Nuclear Fusion

When listening to Richie Goods & Nuclear Fusion terms like hip, groovy, far-out, cat and chick come to mind. In fact, the music brings the 'beat' out so much that I felt like I should be wearing a black turtle-neck, a beret with dark sunglasses, and have a hand-rolled cigarette hanging from my mouth.

Live at the Zinc Bar, the latest venture from Richie Goods & Nuclear Fusion, is a 2009 release that features Richie Goods on bass, Mike Clark on drums, Helen Sung on keyboards and Jeff Lockhart on guitar playing jazz fusion.

What is jazz fusion? It is a musical genre that merges jazz with elements of other styles of music, particularly funk, rock, R&B, ska, electronic and a whole ride range of musical styles. Jazz enthusiasts credit the late, great Miles Davis as developing jazz fusion.

The music is usually instrumental and features complex time signatures, rhythmic patterns and extended track lengths and improvisations. Live at the Zinc Bar fits that mold to the tee.

The shortest track on the nine-piece effort is 1:29, and that's just an intro. Other than that one piece all the songs are more than six minutes long. The longest track is the long version of Desert Song, which is 13:25.

Jazz isn't for everyone but if you are into it then this CD is a must. The songs are just a pleasure to listen to.

There is no doubt that this foursome that play on this record are talented musicians. Not only can they play great music, but they can write it as well. This is witnessed on songs such as King Jaffe Joffer and Desert Song. These two tracks were penned by Goods and Sung.

The band also covers artists like Herbie Hancock, Lenny White and Antonio Newton.

The rendition of Newton's Snake Oil is mesmerizing.

This is a great effort by Richie Goods & Nuclear Fusion and it is made even greater by the fact that the recording is live. This is one of those CDs that is great for just about any occasion, whether it be a cozy evening for two, a party or a long drive.

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