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Telepathic Band: Electric Telepathy, Vol. 1 (577)

A review of the third album from the quintet

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Telepathic Band, Electric Telepathy, Vol. 1
The cover of Electric Telepathy, Vol. 1 by the Telepathic Band

It seems like a leap for a free improvisation group to call itself “psych-jazz,” especially when it involves Daniel Carter, a multi-instrumentalist known for wild blowing on reeds and brass. But the opening minutes of “Fresh Dialect” evoke a night when Syd Barrett might have wandered offstage, leaving the rest of Pink Floyd to roll on without him. Mainly it’s Mathew Putman’s Farfisa-esque organ setting the psychedelic scene, though Hillard Green (bass) and Federico Ughi (drums) establish a raw, tom-heavy groove. Before long Carter and Patrick Holmes enter, both on clarinets, playing separate ideas that flow together. By the end of the 19-minute track, things have morphed towards loose jazz improvisation—but the mood is set.

The laid-back vibe continues throughout. Following last year’s live Telepatia Liquida album, the group built Electric Telepathy, Vol. 1 from a series of studio improvisations that were edited down. Aside from the opening piece, the other four tracks all present fairly concise performances that each come in under six minutes. The group never resorts to uninhibited blowing, preferring to create something more meditative than fiery. If things start sounding a little shambolic or noodly, the Telepathic Band lives up to its name and moves in unison. “Ease Tease” works like a strong interlude between tracks, with Carter’s trumpet leading the call and Holmes adding commentary behind it. Switching to tenor saxophone in “Lust-Call,” Carter charts the path, beginning and ending alone, while his bandmates ease in behind him and add some color before slipping back out. In a way, it ends the album somewhat anticlimactically. But sometimes that’s the way the music unfolds. Always leave them wanting more.

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Originally Published

Mike Shanley

Mike Shanley has been a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh and gladly welcomes any visitors to the city, most likely with a cup of coffee in one hand. Over the years, he has written for several alternative weekly papers and played bass guitar in several indie rock bands. He currently writes for the bi-weekly paper Pittsburgh Current and maintains a blog at shanleyonmusic.blogspot.com.