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January/February 2001

John Bruschini
As You Were
Cathexis Records

On As You Were, high-energy guitarist John Bruschini leads a cohesive quintet that includes electric bass and violin. He's a talented musician who freely changes attitudes as he wields both acoustic and electric instruments on this set of original compositions.

A little retro perhaps but not in a bad way, Bruschini alternately sounds like Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin on the first two tracks-"As You Were" and "B4"-as he ranges from rippling acoustic guitar to scorching electric on top of a driving groove. While violinist Jim Nolet helps add to the Mahavishnu vibe, deeper into the program a clearer impression of the group's identity begins to emerge as Bruschini and company render material as diverse as "Way Down," a progressive ballad with a killer guitar solo, and "Bloodroot," a relentlessly funky exercise with boiling organ work by Robert Aries. The set concludes with "Sarah's," an anthemic ballad that provides an especially nice vehicle for Bruschini's fluid, imaginative approach that easily explains why he can be found in the company of musicians the caliber of Cecil Taylor.

Originally published in January/February 2001
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