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Published: 2001/09/19
by Pat Buzby

Rules For Rotation – Mori Stylez

Mori Stylez
If the integrity of a group’s concept was the sole
criteria for a review, Mori Stylez would get 11 out of
10. It’s hard enough in this era to have an
instrumental jazz/rock group, let alone one featuring
a front line of an electric guitarist/bassonist and a
mandolinist/clarinetist.
As this disc indicates, Mori Stylez have paid
their dues in many other ways, as well. All four
members are more than capable players and writers,
good enough to master some tricky compositional lines
and deliver a credible bassoon-fronted version of
Charles Mingus’s Reincarnation Of A Lovebird,
presumably the first on record. As well, the tracks
average over eight minutes apiece, but most of them
achieve this length through elaborate composition
rather than being stuffed with solos.
However, judging from this disc, the band doesn’t
quite stand alongside the jamband notables or the prog legends
(such as King Crimson or Henry Cow) which their music
sometimes evokes. One problem is that the most
memorable melodies here are to be found in the Mingus
and in outside writer Jason Buchea’s Freako Suave.
The multi-part compositions can be frustratingly
elusive, as well, foundering on repetitious,
uneventful sections and ending with whimpers rather
than bangs.
Darcopus is perhaps the best original,
exploring some daring, dissonant territory. The
following cut, Brotherhood Reincarnated, draws on a
subdued, rather somber mood, which is surprisingly
common for this band (and also daring). However, the
Berklee-metal outro is typical of the disc’s
shortcomings. Is this their idea of humor or drama?
Perhaps a disc or two down the line, one will be
able to answer that question. And here’s hoping they
do get another disc or two, at least. Despite the
occasional lackluster moments, it is rare that one
finds a band with four guys who are more than capable
players and writers, and who are pursuing a concept
with integrity.

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