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ST by Merge

The debut album from Merge could lead the new wave of jazz fusion into the future. With Nima Rezai on Chapman Stick and Synth Stick, Dan Heflin on soprano and tenor saxophone, Murray Gusseck on drums and keyboards by Chip Webster, this album is a great start.

The first song called "Intro" is a Japanese or Oriental piece. There are a lot of mixtures of colors on this album, with anywhere from Asian to Turkey and even North American straight-home jazz fusion.

Song four titled "Fragments" is full of melody and luster. "Noise Compliant" is intense, but yet relaxed. There is original music here. They have been classified as jazz-fusion, to which some degree you could make an argument for and against. The compositions are original, all written by Rezai, and also include special guests Harez Modirzadeh on Persian ney and alto clarinet and Ben Burling on electro-acoustics on Canopy.

Nima Rezai and, to a large extent, Dan Heflin do most of the soloing on the album. Combined with Gusseck’s drumming and Webster’s keyboards, especially on the songs "Motion-1" and "Resistance," which closes out the album, it makes it a good album. They have released two more albums after this with a live compilation album and a brand new studio album in 2005, look for these guys to do wonders and expand the jazz-fusion label into the future.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Merge
  • CD Title: ST
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: mergemusic
  • Tracks: Intro, Reng, Tap Space, Fragments, Canopy, Motion-1, Float, Noise Complaint, From Within, I Left Behind, Resistance.
  • Musicians: Nima Rezai (Chapman Stick), Dan Heflin (saxophones), Murray Gusseck (drums), Chip Webster (percussion, keyboards), Hafez Modirzadeh (Persian ney), Ben Burling (electro acoustics)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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