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****1/2 (Four 1/2 Stars)

by Robin Tolleson

Plunge delivers a wild assortment of gutbucket street funk and atmospheric slants that put an emphasis on Bob Moses' traps, bells, rattles, and hand drums.  Mark McGrain is a daring trombonist, but to be commended even more is his vision of this tonally unique group - a deep, earthy sound with the combination of tuba, bass, and bone.  They're packed tight into the low end of the sound spectrum, but each instrument comes through distinctly.  This gives Moses more of the high end to stand out in, and he sparkles on each cut.
    The drummer contrasts the laid-back New Orleans street groove of "Wagdanz" with the funky "394," the title of which suggests the rhythmic pattern the tuba is playing.  Moses plays a straight 4/4 with a paradiddle pattern that he makes sound totally organic.  "Just Like Alice" is more of a mind-bender, a triplet-based tune with a missing beat providing an interesting turnaround.  "Beneath The Wheel" is second-line with an Afro-Cuban kick, "Dog" is a rough, growling, haphazard bit of noise, and "Running, Running" is snare and kick with a very sparse back drop.  Moses has deeply absorbed influences from New Orleans, Africa, the Caribbean, Birdland - even the hip-hop nation - along with an understanding of rudimentary drumming, and on Falling With Grace he spits out consistently fresh, free, and funky beats.



All content 1995 - 2011 Mark McGrain

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