The Life Force Trio is the lifeblood of one Carlos Nino and some of his like-minded jazz / funk / fusion / pop comrades. And as a result, this EP goes all over the musical map. “Coliseum” isn’t a grand, epic anthem, but rather an experimental walk through jazz, mixed with ambient accents. From there, “Space Flowers / Carousel” is cinematic and melancholic, while at times an ethereal piece that seems a tad curt. Meanwhile, fans of the circus would find the merry-go-round melody of the aptly titled second portion to their liking. The group however tries to create mood music which is a hit and miss affair ... the miss being the video game blips and bleeps that seem to diminish the overall effort of “Starship”. Perhaps the highlight of the album is a medley of three tracks entitled “Blue Line, Watts Bound / The Shadows Took Shape / Soul Mates, Like Thunder and Lightning”. The first portion has a minimal feel with some hauntingly eerie effects within, sounding like it was culled from a ‘70s murder mystery film. Part two is a mellow, quasi-romantic instrumental along the lines of ‘70s Barry White soul, and the coda is a slightly up-tempo, funkier revision of the middle section. “Luminous” is the album’s other shining moment, a soft and hushed track sounding like Moby, if he ended his days playing in some hotel lounge.
// Notes from the Road
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