January 3, 2010

THE GOOD WORD:

Blissed supergroup the Word (A.D. Amorosi, 1/03/09, Philadelphia Inquirer)

The seated Randolph was a sight to behold, dapper in a vest and tie, but flapping his arms against his side like a bird while cutting through the manic improvisation of "Blood on That Rock." Gentler moments also benefited from his solos' mix of dusky blues and country funk.

His syrupy purr merged with that of bassist Chew on "Joyful Sounds" to create the ambience of a dozen French horns - that is, before the pedal-steel guitarist unleashed an ungodly screech before the track's finale. Through the chunky percolation of "I Shall Not Be Moved," it was if Randolph had discovered a theremin's scary subtleties. His pluck made "At the Cross" a chipper pop song and "You Haven't Done Nothin' " a rangy, shuffling boogie.

By no means, though, was this night all Randolph's. Medeski was the quintet's liquid center, gliding atop rhythms or soloing on blissful, sticky epics like "Without God."

Luther Dickinson's slide-guitar dips throughout the evening (as on "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning") proved as ominous and sensual as anything his fret-board partner managed. Their quick, flitting duels leapt to the sort of dynamic that Eric Clapton and Duane Allman made famous during their Derek & the Dominos tenure.


Posted by Orrin Judd at January 3, 2010 8:26 AM
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