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TriBeCaStan

New Deli

(Evergreene; US: 7 Feb 2012; UK: Import)

The forte of this genial and energetic New York collective is not songwriting but jam management. Each track on New Delihas a theme and a personal menagerie of instruments. “The Brain Surgeon’s Wife Serves Lunch” is 1950s lounge. “A Crack in the Clouds” worships the rough liquid of Ben Huebner’s shakuhachi. “Daddy Barracuda” is louche dirt. In TriBeCaStan, everyone is there for everyone else, the trumpet player who darts up to the microphone and squeals in “Freaks for the Festival” has the plump support of the other instruments behind him, waiting to catch him if he falls, which he doesn’t. There are times when a regular anchoring melody seems too safe, too dominant but enterprise and community spirit win out. New friends come in with each track, old friends leave, the sound reinvents itself. Democracy is the album’s weakness and also its strength.

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