Guru Guru — Live in China
(Trance-Music TM 0320, 2020, CD+DVD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2021-02-25
In 2019, Guru Guru played the Tomorrow Festival in Shenzhen, China, and recorded this album, the evidence that 50 years on the road hadn’t killed the spirit of rock that got them started. The set covers material going all the way back to Känguru (1972) and up to Rotate! (2018), along with a whole bunch of jamming. Mani Neumeier (drums, vocals), Jan Linqvist (guitar), Peter Kühmstedt (bass), and Roland Schaeffer (guitar, sax, nadaswaram) present a fun set of music for an enthusiastic crowd, most of whom were almost certainly unfamiliar with the tunes, but don’t hold back from participating in the call-and-response and other audience participation parts. Neumeier brings in his array of unusual percussion from around the world, and the band’s spirit of good fun is contagious, even if the songs are sometimes kind of silly. Music is supposed to be entertaining, isn’t it? Technical precision has never been Guru Guru’s thing, so listeners looking for tight arrangements and intricate polyphony will be disappointed, but if funky rock and roll grooves are your thing, these guys might just hit the spot.
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