Title - 'No Agenda'
Artist - Bernie Mora & Tangent
Guitarist Bernie Mora & Tangent have been around for a while, but their brand new album, No Agenda (out now via Rhombus Records) might just be one of their most expressive to date.
Giving us nine original tracks that captivate and inspire with rocking riffs and groove-filled rhythms, the album is chock full of wondrous rhythms and vibrant riffs and having now listened to it twice through, I can tell you it is also now in my Top 10 of the year!
1. 'Mon Cheri'
2. 'Commando Roll'
3. 'Later Daze'
4. 'No Agenda'
5. 'Doc the Clock'
6. 'Take Me Away (Reprise)'
7. 'Cup a Joe'
8. 'Pale Moon Funk'
9. 'It's a Honu World'
As it's been heard through the jazz grapevine that jazz fans who have attached themselves to Bernie Mora & Tangent over the years have started to feel slightly worried about the genres evolution in their hands, well, here on No Agenda it's safe to say that they will once again be satisfied with the direction and chord constructions brought forth.
From the off, tracks such as both the free flowing 'Mon Cheri' and the harder jazz/guitar stylings of 'Commando Roll' are just a joy to behold and are backed seamlessly by cuts such as the mid-tempo 'Later Daze,' the drum-led title track, and then the smooth jazz-lite roll of 'Doc the Clock' (a touching tribute to the group’s former drummer, the late Doc Anthony).
The jangly, funky, late '40s ballroom swing vibe of 'Take Me Away (Reprise)' is then followed by Mora's guitar being let loose early via an opening shred movement on the prog/jazz 'Cup a Joe,' which is followed by the hipsway bounce of the horn-drenched 'Pale Moon Funk, with the album rounding out with the Maui-flavored, melodic smooth jazz breeze on 'It's a Honu World.'
So yes, No Agenda is a jazz album, my friends, but it is also a showpiece for Mora's incredible, and at times pulsating guitar work too.
Working between the lines of the musicians he surrounds himself with - Charles Godfrey, drums and percussion; Daniel Becker, bass and acoustic 12 string; Doug Webb, saxes and flutes; Corey Alley, keyboards; Lee Thornberg, trumpets and trombones; and Guest Artists Eric Unsworth (fretless bass) and Leilani Rivera Low (Hawaiian chant) - this album is fresh, original, funky, bold in its expressions, and high energy (for the most part) throughout.
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