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Artanker Convoy

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The references to ’70s Miles Davis will abound; Artanker Convoy’s Cozy Endings is a slab of jazzy grooving that simmers like Brooklyn pavement in mid-August. While Davis is an apt comparison for this mix of jazz, psychedelia, bossa nova, and soul , it’s more a descendant of trumpeter Don Cherry’s Brown Rice in its attempt to make jazz into something more accessible, trippy, and danceable. Every number on here is a laid-back (note: laid-back, not slow) burner that swings, shakes, and sometimes struts. Though the percussion work is light overall, the leader of the band is drummer Artanker (hence the band moniker). He and bassist Joe Florentino lay down extremely minimal beats of shimmering cymbal and subtle bass lines, which the band proceeds to build around with liquid keyboard drips and saxophone purrs that float just above the song’s foundation. In this way, they are like Can; each song grows organically into something awkwardly suited for a dance party of sorts. Given that they are on the Social Registry label, it’s only natural that they also have a significant trance element to their music. Like the best of its ilk, Cozy Endings is a major chill-out record. Now that I think of it, Beastie Boys songs like “Namaste” and Lighten Up” are also major reference points for this record. BRIAN J. BARR
Seattle Weekly 6/13/07

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