Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Russell Gunn: Ethnomusicology Volume 2

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Russell Gunn’s Ethnomusicology, Vol. 2 is a study in unfulfilled expectations. On the album’s cover, trumpeter Gunn stares forlornly into the distance, perhaps because he has been painted in blackface and strung up like a marionette against the background of an American flag. The album itself, however, lacks any discernible antiestablishment content. The first two tracks feature a piano loop stolen from a Greg Nice song and lyrics that rapper “Gunn Fu” partially borrows from a D-Nice song, respectively; however, hip-hop style makes few incursions into the rest of the album, and neither do MCs with the word “Nice” in their names.

More seriously, despite the cover imagery and the liner-note quote thanking the Canadian indie label Justin Time for “letting me make the record I wanted to make” (both of which appear to refer to Gunn’s awkward dalliance with Atlantic for Ethnomusicology, Vol. 1), Vol. 2 shuns excitement of any kind, preferring to serenade the listener with mildly funkified versions of jazz classics.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.