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Ben Allison: The Stars Look Very Different Today

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Bassist-composer Ben Allison puts together such great bands you can’t help but regret his tendency to record each of them only once. But with standout guitarist Steve Cardenas remaining a constant through the changes, and each new group capturing you with its own distinctive effects, you’re too caught up in the moment to dwell on the past.

On The Stars Look Very Different Today, Cardenas is teamed in a powerhouse quartet with Brandon Seabrook, a young wild card on guitar who as a cameo player on Allison’s previous album, Action-Refraction, helped moved him into a rock aesthetic. Here, Seabrook’s snarling lines and extreme tonality, combined with Cardenas’ more lyrical and shapely playing, feed a decidedly post-rock sound that lies somewhere between the pitched melodies of Sonny Sharrock and the rootsy reflections of Bill Frisell.

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