Psyco On Da Bus
Psyco On Da Bus
There's no way we could begrudge Tony Allen spending the rest of his career playing nostalgic renditions of the revolutionary Afrobeat rhythms he built with the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Aging music revolutionaries should be cut some slack. But with his Psyco On Da Bus project, Allen dumps nostalgia and any trappings of the rebellious, tribal jazz funk he helped birth for jazz fusion, which may be the most maligned music in the universe. Fusion is a music more defined by its bloated disasters than its finest moments (one fine moment: Miles Davis' Bitches Brew), but luckily, Allen is in more of a Davis mood with Psyco than, say, the Yellowjackets or Kenny G. With his prime collaborator, Doctor L, Allen rides fusion's spookiest, funkiest possibilities to something that's damn close to mind-altering. Assisted by a crew of other musicians from around the world, they traverse between songs soft and frenetic, equipped with sounds seemingly de rigueur for any self-respecting fusion band—a loping Rhodes organ, a heavy funk guitar, blistering percussion, trippy studio effects la Bill Laswell, and, of course, a mysterious jazz flute. Their unique technique, though, is made all the more distinct by Allen's drumming and his steely determination to avoid living in his past, no matter how glorious that past may have been. Psyco indeed. (Andrew Asch)
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