Format: CD
Label: Favored Nations
Catalog: AUD443394014
Rel. Date: 05/04/2004
UPC: 690897232020

Known Unknown [Import]
Artist: Vernon Reid & Masque
Format: CD
Used: Available

Formats and Editions


"With Living Colour, Vernon Reid used guitar prowess and songwriting skills to effectively channel his inner Hendrix. With his first solo album, 1996's Mistaken Identity, Reid explored a curiosity about sonic collage and love of hip-hop to experimentally channel his inner David Byrne-and perhaps a little Beck on the side. With his latest foray, the versatile guitarist examines his jazzy downtown New York roots and channels his inner Miles Davis and Carlos Santana and Jeff Beck.

Credited only on the inside of Mistaken Identity, Masque receives equal billing with Reid on Known Unknown, and for good reason. Bassist Hank Schroy, keyboardist Leon Gruenbaum and new drummer Marlon Browden (hot from a stint with John Scofield) never allow Reid to overpower their contributions even when he drifts toward bombastic guitar theatrics. Gruenbaum enjoys his moments at the top of the mix, tapping into a rich and subtle evocation of soul-jazz great Richard ""Groove"" Holmes (especially on the swinging ""Voodoo Pimp Stroll"") and providing an appropriate melodic texture when Reid drifts into a Pat Metheny-like lilt (""Strange Blessing""), while Schroy and Browden are Masque's all-purpose players, easily able to shift from driving funk rhythms to delicate jazz fluidity in a blink. Fans of Reid's histrionic quasi-metal riffing shouldn't worry that he's abandoning volume and power-his take on jazz nuances is just as muscular as his other excursions.

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