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GSol: Mythic Images: Live at Café Aquí (Self-released) 

If you're looking for something mainstream in terms of songs with melody lines, lyrics and a semblance of structure, this is not the record for you.

Throw in a Joseph Campbell reference to help flesh out the title, and you begin to get the sense this is not something you're going to hear on the radio ... unless you've managed to find an obscure free-form station to keep you company on an all-night drive. Within that context, this album—which mixes Latin jazz riffs, scat vocals with a Beat poet's sensibility, and percussion that's both driving and nuanced—is perfect.

While each of the 12 compositions, recorded live in a coffeehouse in South Tucson, begins with a specific rhythm, it's not long before they quickly evolve into their own self-contained improvisations. While GSol is not what you would call a jam band, it does embody that spirit, with its members playing off each other.

Giving the band its vocal identity is Alessandro Circiello. His rhythm guitar leads the group into every piece, but it's his voice, used much like a lead instrument, that brings color to these rhythms and the tasty acoustic guitar leads of Anton Shekerjiev. Neil Diamente locks everything down on bass. But it's the band's ringer, Miguel Bazemore, a veteran of many Los Angeles studio sessions dating back to the 1970s, who steals the show with a mix of congas, bongos and djembe.

More by Jim Lipson

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