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Sonic Liberation Front: Jetway Confidential

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For all the cunning with which they assemble it, Sonic Liberation Front’s musical patchwork still feels like a mess. But it’s a glorious, enchanting mess. Boasting a range of guests and instruments (especially horns and percussion) so complex it literally requires a chart to explicate, the Philadelphia quintet and friends burn through-among others-drone grooves (“Umami”), homages to Sun Ra (“Jetway Confidential No. 3”) and Morton Feldman (“One Two”), frenzied free jazz (“OneTwoThree”) and traditional Santerian chants (“Yemaya”) with relish, imagination and a fair bit of noise. It’s tied together, however, with SLF’s trademark Afro-Cuban percussion and multilayered rhythm, which weaves a mesmerizing thread through this sundry collection of wonders. It’s among the year’s greatest excitements.

Originally Published