The Cheebacabra — Metamorphosis
(Makrosoft MS 0007, 2003, CD)
by Jim Chokey, Published 2004-04-01An instrumental funk outfit from the U.S. west coast, The Cheebacabra is led by a drummer/keyboardist named Cheeba, who is joined by six other musicians on keys, guitar, sax, and percussion. The album’s ten tunes (five on each side) are extremely short. Most average two minutes long; the whole LP takes less than 25 minutes to play all the way through. The group’s approach shows a jazz-fusion pedigree — looking back to Herbie Hancock’s classic jazz-funk album Headhunters, although there’s a big difference between Hancock’s spacious explorations (which allow for lots of soloing) and these brief pieces. There is a distinct retro feel here, as the rhythms, the fusion flourishes, and the classic keyboard timbres (jazz-organ, Moog, Fender Rhodes, wah-wah clavinet) evoke the sounds and flavors of the late 70s. In fact, it would be easy to imagine that these tunes come from a soundtrack of the era — an urban cop drama, a blaxploitation flick, or maybe a porn film. Only the frequent use of unvaried, too-heavy, slightly electronicized drum beats betrays the recentness of this recording and its indebtedness (however slight) to current club sensibilities. Still, readers who enjoy a classic funk sound will find Metamorphosis to be a fun listen that skillfully mimics the sounds and styles of classic jazz-funk. They may, however, wish that the tunes were a little longer so that the musicians could do something a bit more than lay down a quick two-minute groove.
Related artist(s): The Cheebacabra
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more