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Sunday, November 24, 2013

CD Review: Foreign Motion - In Flight.

Cory Wong (Guitar); Kevin Gastonguay (Keyboards); Yohannes Tona (Bass);  Petar Janjic (Drums).
(Review by Steve H)
Foreign Motion is a band formed and led by guitarist, New York native, Cory Wong. His three fellow musicians are from various parts of the globe. Pianist, Kevin  Gatonguay  hails from Minnesota. Bassist, Yohannes Tona  is from Ethiopia and drummer, Petar Janjic, from Serbia. Their diverse musical origins all help to add local colour to what is essentially a Jazz Rock/Funk/Fusion offering.
The album kicks off with the self explanatory The Funk Underground giving us a great feel for what this band is all about. Until It Falls is a mellow piano led number. The bass of Tona takes over for The U N Assembly a real funkadelic number. This is followed by Ellie, my favourite track on the album, a beautiful central melody  accompanied by some storming backing which had me leaping around the kitchen with joy. Kaleidiscope, another appropriately named song,  conjures up the multi layered effects of  its title. Drift has a gentle guitar intro and is a very elegant melodic piece. Kings, unlike its mellow predecessor, is an energetic burner with guitar, bass and drums all letting loose with gay abandon before  Gastonguay  injects some funky electronics into the mix but it is the percussion that  rules on this one. Pass The Plate is a straight ahead jazz number. Rise Above reminds me of Chic Corea’s Return to Forever group of the 70’s, Tona’s bass echoing  that of the great Stanley Clarke some 30 years ago. One is a slow soothing almost classical piece building gently and atmospherically before bowing out in an equal and opposite direction. Flee is a strident uplifting rumbustious effort. The final and title track In Flight is also the shortest piece which takes the listener out in an uptempo manner.
This debut album is thoroughly enjoyably.  The original compositions are top quality and the playing by all band members ebullient. I look forward to future offerings from this outfit and imagine they would be even better seen live
Steve H.

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