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Bruce Arnold: Give ‘Em Some

Bruce Arnold has made his reputation as a 12-tone adherent, not as a groovemeister. His latest, Give ‘Em Some (Muse Eek), is more rhythm-oriented than previous work, though it’s more of a pulse than a dead-in-the-pocket groove. With the exception of the jaunty, wah-wah-spiced disc-ender, “Foggy Timeline Breakdown,” Arnold’s compositions tease, rather than grab the backbone. Collaborating with bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Tony Moreno, Arnold mines territory that leans toward early Holdsworth (“Blues for Arnie,” “Rush”). Arnold generally plays with a pristine, liquid Strat tone and impressionistic chording, but he sometimes adds some distorted skronk (“Smoke”) for good measure.

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