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18.6.12

Lost Tribe



Lost Tribe - Soulfish - 1994 - High Street

The New York quintet Lost Tribe is typical of a new generation of fusion bands which have added hip-hop and funk-metal influences to the usual blend of jazz and rock. These younger musicians have failed, however, to solve the central problem of the fusion field--the tendency to emphasize technical virtuosity over heartfelt composition to the point where the music becomes a bloodless exercise. Lost Tribe's second release, Soulfish, is a case in point, for the five members (who have worked with the likes of Ronald Shannon Jackson, George Russell, Steve Coleman, and Rickie Lee Jones) are superb players one and all but seem incapable of writing a memorable composition. Adam Rogers in particular is notable for his ability to combine a Hendrixian guitar roar with post-bop solos, but his compositions "Whodunit" and "Steel Orchards" are shapeless vamps for jamming rather than real songs. Alto saxophonist David Binney has written two slower, moodier pieces, "Room of Life" and "La Fontaine," but they come uncomfortably close to the aural-wallpaper sound of new age. The rap production team, Rise Robots Rise, helped Lost Tribe create the hip-hop-flavored "Walkabout" and "Daze of Ol'," but the results merely point out the inadequacies of bassist Fima Ephron and drummer Ben Perowsky as vocalists and lyricists. © Geoffrey Himes © 2008-2012, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.ca/Soulfish-Lost-Tribe/dp/B00000131Q

Lost Tribe's provocative mix of jazz, funk, progressive rock, heavy metal, and hip-hop is well represented on this 1994 disc. There are moments during "It's Not What It Is" when the '80s rock stylings of Living Color come to mind. Other tracks, such as "Second Story" and "Fuzzy Logic," recall the frenetic, rap-influenced sound of early Steve Coleman and Five Elements. Guitarist Adam Rogers and saxophonist David Binney seem to be the resident metalheads -- witness Rogers' crushing "Steel Orchards" and Binney's avant-thrash composition "H." Former Five Elements guitarist David Gilmore joins Rogers throughout the disc, making for some hot dual guitar work. Bassist Fima Ephron lays down rap vocals on his own "Walkabout," as does drummer Ben Perowsky on his own, less convincing "Daze of Ol'." On a mellower note, "Room of Life" and "La Fontaine" feature a more harmonically colorful side of the band. © David R. Adler © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/soulfish-mw0000120303

If you like original, frenetic, tight, slick, rockin' and groovin' fusion with 2 axes, one bass, drums and killer sax then this album may appeal to you. This is sonic terrain where jazz and rock converge. Listen to Lost Tribe's s/t album, and buy the band's "Many Lifetimes". Promote great jazz fusion [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 135 Mb]

STEELY DAN TRIVIA: Lost Tribe's scorching 1993 self-titled debut album was produced by Walter Becker and featured a potent mix of funky syncopations, infectious rhythms, and soaring melodies. Adam Rogers also played on Walter Becker's complex and underrated "11 Tracks Of Whack" album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Walkabout - Fima Ephron
2. Whodonit - Adam Rogers
3. It's Not What It Is - Fima Ephron
4. Daze of Ol' - Ben Perowsky
5. Room of Life - David Binney
6. Steel Orchards - Adam Rogers
7. La Fontaine (The Fountain) - David Binney
8. Second Story - David Gilmore
9. Planet Rock - Ben Perowsky
10. Fuzzy Logic - David Gilmore & Adam Rogers
11. H - David Binney

MUSICIANS

David Gilmore - Guitar
Adam Rogers - Guitar, Piano
Fima Ephron - Bass, Piano, Vocals
Ben Perowsky - Drums, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Ben Nitze - Synthesizer, Talking Drum, Background Vocals
Daniel Sadownick - Percussion
David Binney - Alto, Soprano, & Tenor Saxophone, Flute
DJ Nass T - Turntables
Tracey Amos - Background Vocals

BIO

Lost Tribe didn't so much start out as a band but as a collective of excellent studio musicians working on the side. Like the 1970s British group Brand X (Phil Collins' jazz fusion alter ego getaway from Genesis), Lost Tribe became a melting pot of the styles popular in the 1990s, mixing rhythmic jazz and rock with even some hip-hop elements. Saxophonist David Binney's sparse lines and the twin-guitar assault of Adam Rogers and David Gilmore blended above the rhythmic muscle of bassist Fima Ephron and drummer Ben Perowsky on Lost Tribe's self-titled 1993 debut CD. Most of the music was instrumental, but the occasional rap track ("Letter to the Editor") and chanted vocal ("Mofungo") provided a changeup between dizzying jazz fusion pieces like "Mythology" and "Cause & Effect." The group's 1994 follow-up, Soulfish, was even harder-edged without losing any rhythmic focus. Perowsky's thunderous drumming on "Whodunit" and the guitar interplay on "Second Story," "Planet Rock," and "Fuzzy Logic" made for a nouveau fusion of funk and metal. But just as a collective from the rap-jazz-opera hybrid the Screaming Headless Torsos (Ephron), jazz fusion guitarist Mike Stern (Perowsky) and African-influenced jazz saxophonist Steve Coleman (Gilmore) was required for Lost Tribe's elemental sound, the nature of the session musicians' beast had to signal an eventual slowdown. Binney released solo CDs and Rogers focused on freelance work while Ephron, Perowsky, and Gilmore (ever-confused with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour) toured and recorded elsewhere over the next four years. By the time Lost Tribe released Many Lifetimes in 1998, Gilmore had left the band, as much to pursue teaching as playing. The titles alone ("The River," "Kyoto," "Jordan") signaled a kinder, gentler, and more melodic Lost Tribe -- but not without fiery moments, especially from Ephron and Perowsky. Adding percussion and Fender Rhodes electric piano to his regular duties on Many Lifetimes, the regular touring drummer for Stern shows why there's no road -- letdown after the guitarist records with virtuosos like Dennis Chambers or Vinnie Colaiuta. And the spectacular yet virtually unknown bassist is now a part of both guitarist David Fiuczynski's vocal (Screaming Headless Torsos) and instrumental (Headless Torsos) groups, so there's no telling when Lost Tribe will be in session (in the studio or on stage) again. © Bill Meredith ©2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lost-tribe-mn0000218534

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