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Longitude – Groundtruther

Thirsty Ear Recordings 571602

Since the dawn of time, man has asked the big questions.

"Why are we here?"

"Where are we going?"

"Are turntables an instrument?"

And on Longitude, the new disc from Groundtruther, a group limited to eight-string genius Charlie Hunter, drummer Bobby Previte and a unique third musician from gig to gig (and disc to disc; saxophonist Greg Osby was in on their last record), we finally got some answers.

To answer the big one: we're here to listen to Charlie Hunter (obviously). To answer the second question: we're going to see him play, with Previte (probably at the Knitting Factory). And, as for the third one: the answer is no. Turntables are not an instrument.

Unfortunately, they're a gimmick. Which is not to say that DJ Logic, Groundtruther's guest on the new album, is a poor DJ by any stretch. I would love to hear him spin at a party or a club. I bet it's great.

But I don't need him injecting a deep, creepy voice repeating "nice to freak you" ("March 1741, Cape Horn") into the mix while my favorite guitarist rocks out with a truly awesome drummer like Previte. It's distracting, and it takes away from the music. Plus, scratching, in general, sounds like someone walking on a wet floor. I don't want that in my music.

What I do want are funky bass lines, searing, melodic guitar leads and powerful, adventurous drumming. And I know just where to find those things: on Longitude, when Logic isn’t playing.

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