Tom Hull on the web: Now I Understand

 In Press

Club D’Elf: Now I Understand (1998-2006 [2006], Accurate): I can’t say as I understand, but at least I’m intrigued. This is a Boston-based group, with a core membership of one (bassist Mike Rivard), three (website also lists drummer Erik Kerr and oudist Brahim Fribgane), four (website photo) or five (insert photos, none identified). The website also lists lots of “special guests” and “rotating cast” and “occasional conspirators” — some of each show up now and then, plus there are a few others on the record but not on the website lists (complain to the webmaster; especially the two Kerr girls who make the irresistible closer “Just Kiddin”). Name droppers will recognize John Medeski, Billy Martin, Mat Maneri, DJ Logic, and maybe the Your Neighborhood Sax Trio. Jere Faison, Jerry Leake, Jay Hilt, Randy Roos, and Mister Rourke appear with some frequency, and the writing credits include a name that doesn’t show in the performing credits: Jeff Misner (I suspect turntablist Mister Rourke). The music is long on world fusion grooves, layered pretty thick, with “Vishnu Dub” typically self-explanatory and exemplary. Jenifer Jackson gets a feature song. The brief “Introduction” could be by MF Doom. It took them eight years to record all this, so I’m not about to sign off on one play…

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