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Art of Cool – Ben Gray

From the opener, “The Zissou Predicament”, (and if you’re not already interested in the album as it name-checks a Wes Anderson character, well, I don’t know what to do for you), the band jumps into a knotty head that is followed by outstanding solos from Griffith, Pelt, and Farrugia. The band may not be made up of household names, but the rhythm section behind the horns makes a strong impression here – these are names to look out for (Farrugia also showed up on the similarly excellent Turboprop album from drummer Ernesto Cervini). It’s worth mentioning how good the band sounds here, as well – the liner notes say that the band was recorded live to tape, and indeed, the record captures the live feeling, with a rich bass sound, crisp drums, and the horns right up front.

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