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Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

“Open source” is a smart way to describe violinist Jeff Gauthier’s music. It draws from a variety of genres-jazz, modern classical, rock, ambient-and it is created by a cast of musicians who seemingly have equal say in what goes on. Open Source is the sixth album by Gauthier’s so-called Goatette-trumpeter John Fumo, guitarist Nels Cline, pianist David Witham, bassist Joel Hamilton and drummer Alex Cline-and it brims with ingenuity, depth and feeling.

It opens with “40 Lashes (With Mascara),” a spacious fusion-style jam that processes everyone’s solos-trumpet, guitar, electric piano-with heavy echo. Gauthier (the founder of Cryptogramophone) crafts a melancholy but uplifting narrative behind Witham’s neoclassical figures on “From a Rainy Night,” and on “Seashells and Balloons” Gauthier and Fumo engage in a duet-a dance, really-that transforms into (of all things) a circus tune. Nels Cline finally gets to shred, in a frightening manner, on “Prelude to a Bite,” a funk-tinged jam (inspired by a cat) that employs a simple descending motif over and over.

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