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Re: Animation Live (1999)

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Bob Belden

Trumpeter Tim Hagans' fascination with the Electric Miles Davis Era continues on this 2000 release titled Re-Animation: Live. A follow-up to his teaming with saxophonist Bob Belden on the 1998 studio release Animation - Imagination, the music from this offering is culled from a 1999 performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival and features compositions from the previous studio set along with some new material.

This sextet, also featuring turntable guru DJ Kingsize, drummer Billy Kilson, bassist David Dyson, and synthesizer performer Scott Kinsey, extends some of the concepts witnessed on the 1998 studio album, yet the "live" experience provides a variegated glimpse of this band's artistry and kinetic spirit. Electric Miles for the new millennium? Perhaps, as the band propagates electrified funk-induced rhythms into sounds and motifs that could parallel notions of urban upheaval along with third-world overtones. Soprano saxophonist Bob Belden frequently jabs and spars with Hagans who employs muted soloing along with electric wah-wah trumpet and blaring leads amid scratch turntables, EFX, and the musician's fervent soloing. However, the band also explores sublime passages that seemingly spawn adventurous thematic inventions as the musicians maintain a vibrant course, enhanced by sporadic dashes of sci-fi style sampled voices. Hence, vivid imagery of an alien soundscape prevails throughout. Overall, Re-Animation: Live is an exhilarating and curiously interesting affair that elevates erstwhile concepts to new and, at times, unearthly heights. ~ Glenn Astarita