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December 2003

Chris Washburne and the Syotos Band
Paradise in Trouble
Jazzheads Records

Paradise in Trouble (Jazzheads) is the third production of New York City trombonist Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band. Washburne is an academic ethnomusicologist acquainted with sounds from African villages, contemporary suburban funky pop, jazz and inner city barrio music. His type of Latin jazz is not so much groundbreaking, although not devoid of conceptual, textural and sonic singularity, as it is an evolutionary strengthening and enriching of well-heeded Hispanic genres and styles. A nice trombone sound and range characterizes the versatility of the leader. His precise intonation accounts for his clarity, which also endears the listener to his nastier open blown lines, when they are called upon by his crafty writing. The recording is danceable and impelling in that regard. "Whatever You Want From Me" has funky bomba passages and montuno piano undercurrents in a Latin R&B-flavored composition. It displays tasty abandon from Ole Mathisen on tenor sax, John Walsh valving the trumpet and Washburne himself. "Your Inside Out," with its ternary time and use of an African gyil (like a xylophone), is filled with remarkable musicality.

Originally published in December 2003
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