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*** (Three Stars)

by Richard C. Walls

Plunge, FALLING WITH GRACE (Accurate).  The most striking thing about Plunge's debut is the way the music knocks down expectations set up by the group's instrumentation - leader and main composer Mark McGrain on trombone (and allegedly alphorn at some point), Marcus Rojas on tuba, Avishai Cohen on bass, and Bob Moses on drums, percussion, and voice.  The front-line implies a certain gravitas, but the one word to sum up Plunge would be nimble.  Or maybe frolicking.
    In any event, they favor a gravity-defying bounciness, polyrhythmic and Third Worldish (and New Orleansish) - which means Moses must be the disc's co-auteur.   When they're not being puckish the group offer a kind of exotica that sounds like a modern, hipper version of Ultra Lounge - the smoky "Just Like Alice" and the cryptically titled "11:11" (which runs 5:58) being the main examples.   "Dog" consists of punky sound distortions, with the 'bone sounding like guitar;  "The Mist" is a ballad with an appealing, far from gloomy melody.   But overall, this good clean fun is groove-ridden, upbeat, and brimming with off-the-cuff virtuosity.



All content 1995 - 2011 Mark McGrain

Plunge   is a registered trademark.

















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