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Animation: Asiento

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Bob Belden can’t seem to get away from Bitches Brew. He was the man behind 1998’s four-disc box The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions, as well as the 2008 two-disc set Miles From India, which gathered together Indian players and Davis alumni to transform the trumpeter’s tunes-including some of the Bitches Brew tracks-into East/West hybrids. Three years later, the producer, arranger and saxophonist has released yet another take on Bitches Brew, this one featuring Animation, his longtime off-and-on collaboration with trumpeter Tim Hagans.

Asiento-the name refers to an initiation that’s part of the Afro-Caribbean religion Santeria-is the remarkable result. Recorded at a 2006 concert at New York’s Merkin Hall, this is no mere retread of the groundbreaking Miles record. Asiento completely reinvents the compositions, with the assistance of Scott Kinsey on keyboards, Matt Garrison on bass, Guy Licata on drums and DJ Logic on turntables. Ambient sounds, drum-‘n’-bass rhythms and trip-hop textures dominate, though the aesthetics of funk, rock and fusion rear their heads when you least expect them to.

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