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Aw Funk It!
Allen Weber says : You Could Describe Hot Shock’s Music This Way Jazz Fusion infused with Latin, Carribeo, Funk, Blues, R & B and Rock. I call our style of music:
Sandunga Jazz Fusion (Groove with Energy)
Review (Fusion): Gong Xi – Allen Weber by: Dr. Will Smith
Guitarist Allen Weber calls his music “Sandunga Jazz Fusion (Groove with Energy)” which he considers is a “Jazz Fusion infused with Latin, Carribeo, Funk, Blues, R & B and Rock.” – http://hotshockband.com/
What I liked about this piece was the fusion of styles that came together in an interesting way. The blend of reggae and rock under a Chinese theme creates a curious sonic experience.
Hearing the gong and the chants of AUM in the beginning almost reminded me of John Coltrane’s album “OM.” But the similarities end there the piece goes off in a whole different direction.
The beginning statement “Gong Xi Fa Cai” is a phrase used during the Chinese New Year loosely translated to mean “congratulations you are multiplying wealth.”
This phrase is repeated for several times in the beginning of the song over a reggae groove. The use of guitar effects and distortion add color and variation and then the groove builds into a chromatic interlude section. The interlude foreshadows the entry of the organ solo section (that needed to be brought up in the mix) which is on a whole different vamp entirely. The solo section is definitely rock based using a repeated cadence to build the intensity. The organ solo is followed by the guitar “shred” solo over the same repeated cadence. I like the harmonic and rhythmic variation created by changing the solo sections to a completely different feel.
I guess visually the piece can go both ways. An American rocker goes to Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year and rocks out at a jam session or a Chinese immigrant comes to America and after getting rich celebrates by rocking out.
The piece never returns back to the beginning theme which is an interesting choice compositionally but I think this choice works as a fusion piece.
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From the Desk and Studio of Allen Weber
Making Jazz Fusion Accessible
Jacksonville FL – November 27 2013 – Sine the early 1970’s when Miles Davis put out his album Bitch’s Brew, John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu Orchestra released their hard fusion, Chick Corea released his jazz fusion saying the word “Jazz” makes most people shiver in fright. They have been afraid of the term “Jazz”. Their eyes glaze over, and they think the music is “over their heads”, “too sophisticated”, “you can’t dance to it”.
With the debut release by Allen Weber with his Hot Shock band their album entitled “Hot Shock” things change. Weber made a conscious effort to create jazz fusion songs with the early excitement, wild energy “jazz chords” of the early jazz fusion masters, while maintaining a dance sensibility with easy to sing melodies, and heavy groove style bass and drums. “The music on this album fits my goal of having something that musicians can enjoy for the sophistication and playing ability, and the general public can enjoy for the beat and melody”, Weber said. When asked to describe his music further he said “You could describe Hot Shock music this way: Jazz Fusion infused with Latin, Carribeo, Funk, Blues, R & B and Rock … You could almost say it is World Jazz Fusion… I call our style of music: Sandunga Jazz Fusion meaning Groove with Energy!”
The album was recorded at the legendary Jacksonville recording studio Warehouse Studios where a veritable who’s who have recorded including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yellow Card, Classics IV, Limp Biscuit, and Black Kids among others. It was mixed and mastered at TrueTone Studios whose clients include : T-Pain (Nappy Boy Records); Young Cash (Universal Records); Molly Hatchet (Sony Records); and Walter Williams (Of The O’Jays) among others.
Weber’s Hot Shock band for the recording consisted of Guitar: Weber; Keyboards: Mike Noble; Bass: John Baker; Drums: Frank Basile. Weber and Noble added a touch of vocals to a couple of tracks. Weber, – who like a lot of artists whose name is on their band, is the artist and uses “hired guns” for recording and performances – has been playing guitar and writing music since 1969 cites influences for his Sandunga Jazz Fusion music as: Joe Zawinul ; Weather Report ; Ramsey Lewis ; Chick Corea and Return to Forever ; Jeff Beck ; Arturo Sandoval ; Cannonball Adderley; Crusaders ; John McLaughlin ; and Carlos Santana (when he was playing jazz fusion in the late 70’s) .