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Jonas Hellborg/Shawn Lane/Apt. Q-258: Time is the Enemy

It’s useful to think of fusion as an ongoing genetic process, the fruits of which usually don’t reveal themselves for two or three generations. The idea has, admittedly, produced some mutant strains (see Kenny G and the like) but some offshoots have more of the right kind of stuff. Bassist Jonas Hellborg first revived the improvising power trio on the stunning “Temporal Analogues of Paradise.”

There, he teamed up with guitar monster Shawn Lane and drummer Apt. Q-258 (a.k.a. Jeff Sipe) for some heady forays into high energy territory, a nonstop flow of motifs and ideas that unfolded over the course of two extended workouts. Time is the Enemy (Bardo, Bardo 037, 52:39), takes that template and tweaks it a bit, resulting in a tighter, more focused, overall more enjoyable album. The title cut tells it all: a funky bass-driven launching pad taken to the outer limits. “Wherever You Walk”‘s loping groove morphs into an uptempo blues shuffle midway through, powered by Lane’s casually dumbfounding guitar work-stringsmen who aren’t hip to him should get ready to hit the shed.

Originally Published