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Friday, Oct. 6, 2006


Eddie Roberts "Roughneck Live in Paris"

The term "nu-jazz" shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same. "Roughneck Live in Paris" might be nu-jazz, but it still has plenty of the old, with its blend of 1990s-style jamming and sleek '60s soul jazz.

As lead guitarist for New Mastersounds, a hard-driving, dance-ready outfit, Eddie Roberts regularly spins out one fresh guitar riff after the next. On this jazzier outing, keeping the deep grooves rolling never interferes with the polished soloing, while the backing band of trumpet, bass, drums and piano chill out the sound with their savvy, stable approach.

Roberts' guitar work makes intricate bop and wide-open modal jazz sound effortless. Whether the future of jazz is in loose, riffing bands like this one or not, a refurbished cool positively erupts in their playful warmth and forward drive.

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