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Kombo: The Big Blast

If the retro sounds of resonant, squishy keyboard tones and the bouncy zing of a whammy bar transport you, then the giddy jams of Kombo’s The Big Blast (GRP Ver CD 63; 55:27) may be just what you’ve been looking for. The duo of keyboardist Ron Pedley and guitarist John Pondel take appealing melodies, executed with a Steely Dan-like jaunt, and swirl them with familiar colors of disco (the clavion feel on the rambling “Stand Tall Be True”), old blues rock (the dark “Never There”) and even Latin (“Lower Deck”)-sometimes in surprising combinations. Supporting players contribute to the divine madness as well-with bassist Matt Bissonette supplying a spy-movie pumping bass line to “Sure Thing,” and drumming brother Greg Bissonette setting the high-stepping tone for the album’s title track. Kombo’s twisted yet accomplished musical sensibility shines through on the album’s

single “classic” track, “Green Onions,” which takes the familiar melody and breaks it open into an odd-timed romp, with a jamming needling guitar solo by Pondel.

Originally Published