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T Lavitz : School of the Arts

Keyboardist T Lavitz’s fusion credits include the Dixie Dregs and Jazz Is Dead, but he gets extra points for craftiness in putting together this collective. Lavitz seemed to realize that an electric fusion outing by this cast would be deemed predictable, so outside of the occasional electric violin by Jerry Goodman and bass by John Patitucci, he went all acoustic. That element of surprise, and musical chemistry (Lavitz, Goodman and guitarist Steve Morse play together with the Dregs; Patitucci, drummer Dave Weckl and guitarist Frank Gambale with Chick Corea), make for inspired playing. Goodman sounds better than ever, including during his 1970s stint with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. His unison lines with Lavitz’s piano, along with Weckl’s intricate drums and percussion, energize “No Time Flat.” The guest appearances by Goodman and Morse (on the Dregs-like “On Fire” and neo-classical “Portrait”) create highlights throughout.

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