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April 2000

Joe Morris
Racket Club
About Time

Racket Club, reissued from a 1993 session, features Morris in a two-horn (Jim Hobbs and Steve Norton), two-drum (Jerome Dupree and Curt Newton), bass (Nate McBride) and guitar line-up that rocks right out of the box. The opening track, "Rumble Strip," sounds like a cross between Ornette's Prime Time and a Frank Zappa freak-out, and is built around a descending, chromatic phrase played in unison. Repeated nearly 30 times, the unisons become blurred before leading to an edgy, rock-funk bridge. Morris and friends then toss you off the bridge and into the deep end. Elsewhere, on the outrageous, unaccompanied solo guitar piece "Pointyhead (Parts 1 & 2)," Morris goes for the throat with rapid, single-note runs and liquid-like pedal effects. Listening to the rest of this session is a bit like driving down a twisting mountain road with your brakes starting to slip and a fog rolling in. It's a white-knuckle, noisy, wild trip of a CD, great for head banging.

Originally published in April 2000
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