With the release of In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew more than four decades ago, Miles Davis paved the way for jazz-rock fusion. And while trumpeter John Lake's project SHIRLEY borrows from those albums, the forward-thinking quintet takes things in a slightly different direction, incorporating electronic music, funk, computers and found sounds. On the opener, Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma," for example, drummer Ed Breazeale lays a drum-and-bass beat underneath, immediately modernizing the six-decade-old song. There's some outstanding playing by Lake and saxophonist Serafin Sanchez throughout the disc, especially the interplay between them on "Con Alma" and "4th of July." Andrew Moorhead's first-rate performance on the Fender Rhodes electric piano and Paul McDaniel's strong bass work are also integral to the group, which at times recalls Kneebody, partly because of the similar instrumentation. From a Bright Clearing is a captivating disc from start to finish.
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