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September 2000

James Carter
Layin' in the Cut
Atlantic Records

Carter's Layin' in the Cut is more about bluster than nuance. Backed by electric bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, drummer G. Calvin Weston and a tandem of nasty electric guitarists in Marc Ribot and Jef Lee Johnson, he explores the outer fringes of funk with some freestyle originals that combine elements of Maceo Parker ("Layin' in the Cut") and Fela Kuti ("Motown Mash"), with healthy doses of tenor and bari overblowing and the kind of savage, aggressively out guitar work usually associated with New York's renegade downtown scene (as on the raucous free-for-all, "Terminal B," or the booty-shaking noise jam "There's a Paddle"). The relatively tame bossa nova "GP" is the odd tune out on this otherwise edgy excursion into punk-funk.

Originally published in September 2000
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