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Oz Noy: Fuzzy

Guitarist Oz Noy faced an uphill battle on his new CD Fuzzy, simply because it follows his intense 2006 release Oz Live. But if the prevailing notion was that Noy’s second studio effort would wilt by comparison, it gets proven wrong by mid-disc. Fuzzy starts slowly, but the pre-heat leads to a boil through the guitarist’s interaction with some of his live partners-bassists James Genus and Will Lee, and drummers Keith Carlock, Anton Fig and Vinnie Colaiuta.

It’s difficult to match the attitude of a live album. “Which Way Is Up?” opens by trying too hard through the overkill of two bassists (Genus and Lee) and drummers (Carlock and Fig). The seven-minute “Cosmic Background” follows up by going midtempo, and Noy’s quotes of Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover” hint that the disc’s remainder might be on autopilot.

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