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Blisters by Joe Fonda & Gilbert Isbin

There are many reasons why oysters are usually served on the half-shell. For one, presentation is a factor--they just look better garnished and arranged around a plate that way. Another consideration for the chef preparing them is how much work can and should he do for his patrons? Most restaurant goers don't want to go the trouble of cracking a whole oyster just to get at the little bit of meat inside, but they'll happily enjoy them if the process is made a little more inviting.

Joe Fonda & Gilbert Isbin's Blisters is like a plate of raw, unprocessed oysters. There's some good meat to be found in the CD's thirteen tracks, but you have to go through a lot of dense material to get at it. The music here is almost completely deconstructed. Fonda's bass still retains elements of melody and rhythm, but Isbin's guitar is largely reduced to a percussion instrument for the first half of the album. Toward the conclusion of the disc, Isbin starts to play his instrument in a more recognizable manner--his playing on "Two Times" contains some nice traces of Flamenco, for example--but by that time you may have lost interest.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joe Fonda & Gilbert Isbin
  • CD Title: Blisters
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Jazzhalo'
  • Rating: Two Stars
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