Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"The touring band of guitarist/sitarist Fareed Haque, bassist Kai Eckhardt and keyboardist Eric Levy, plus newly added drummer/vocalist Sean Rickman, share a collective musical experience that inspires them to push the envelope of composition and improvisation. Their progressive, smokin' hot sound is a convergence of cerebral jazz improv, mystical Middle Eastern atmospheres and down-and-dirty funk. On several tracks, Haque clearly has a blast playing his Moog Guitar, a new high-tech instrument that is also the focus of the concurrent CD release." -DownBeat
JazzTimes (p.60) - "This cleverly named CD is a textbook example of jam-band fusion, and, technically, it's prodigious."
Personnel: Sean Rickman (vocals, drums); Fareed Haque (guitar, guitars); Eric Levy (keyboards).
Audio Mixer: Jonathan Chi.
Recording information: In The Pocket, Forestville, CA (03/01/2009-03/01/2009).
Photographers: Norman Sands; Sean Rickman.
Garaj Mahal's sixth CD has them continuing to explore contemporary jazz fusion with an Eastern undercurrent, a funky base, and fluid dynamics. Electric guitarist Fareed Haque loves his double-neck electric guitar, and the peerless electric bass guitarist Kai Eckhardt asserts his high-level talent in the manner he did while accompanying John McLaughlin many years prior. With Sean "The Rick" Rickman on drums and keyboardist Eric Levy, Garaj Mahal take many liberties into a dancing-in-your-head type of music with occasional forays into pop tunes. A track like "Witch Doctor" might lead one to a signature sound according to the band's name, a snake charmer's jazz to Indo-funk. Then there's the heavy metal jam of "The Long Form" and the bass-driven "Chester the Pester" in 6/8 time, or the tick-tock funk of "Tachyonics" with light Canterbury-style, airy melodies. In quieter pop singer/songwriter or even folkish tones, and even a piano ballad contributed by Levy, the quartet weaves through various strains of clearly identifiable commercial music while retaining its trailblazing spirit, making for a total listening experience appropriate for many different moods. ~ Michael G. Nastos