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Junior Hot Cell - Zaman

Zaman

Junior Hot Cell

EO-03

Earth Orbit Music
714 Park Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwart@bowdoin.edu)

Junior Hot Cell is back! Their third all-instrumental recording, Zaman, is a fun-filled romp through their own special blend of acoustic, folk and world music. There are plenty of original tunes here as well as covers from the likes of Bela Fleck and Ricky Skaggs. Their singular take on Irish fiddle music, traditional folk, R&B and jazz provides something for everyone who loves good music. Are you ready for a musical journey to places both near and far?

Zaman opens with a brilliant, colorful mix of musical styles called The Big Medley. Here is where Junior Hot Cell's gift for "acoustic world fusion," as they call it, comes into play. Contemporary acoustic guitar and cello introduce the piece, then an Irish jig is thrown in, some rock music, a bouzouki, and finally a mandolin are added to the mix and off we go....

Butterfly on the Moon is a lovely, melodic piece by Keith Roberson and George Rhee on guitars, accompanied by Myron Stewart on violin. The percussive sounds of the African shekere and djembe are added in to beautiful effect.

I like the special magic of Transcendence, a contemporary tune perfectly played by Keith Roberson on bouzouki, Myron Stewart on violin, and Rachel Pinkney on cello.

The closing piece, Zaman, brings it all together. Here we have Keith and George on acoustic and electric guitars as well as Tom Flagg on bass for a contemporary sound. But then we have the more traditional banjo and fiddle, plus the Aboriginal didgeridoo, the African kora and miscellaneous percussion to add more than a bit of world music to the overall sound.

It is still hard to believe that three of the four members of Junior Hot Cell are academics - professors and administrators - by day, and musicians by night. Myron Stewart, the marvelous violinist here, is the only full-time musician. All of them are musicians through and through. The music here is infectious - as much as you love listening to it you just want to get up and dance! Here's to Junior Hot Cell and the wonderful fusion of contemporary acoustic and world music they continue to create. Zaman is a beauty of a recording. Take a journey into the music of Junior Hot Cell and you may never want to come back!

Track List:

  • The Big Medley:
    • The Big What? (George Rhee)
    • Star of Munster (Traditional)
    • Turtleneck Pants (Keith Roberson)
  • Butterfly on the Moon (K. Roberson/G.Rhee)
  • Big Country (Bela Fleck)/Through the Gates (Russell Barenberg)
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Joe Zawinul/Larry Williams/Johnny Watson)
  • Banish Misfortune (Traditional; arranged by Junior Hot Cell)
  • Irish Spring (Ricky Skaggs)
  • Sunset Road (Bela Fleck)
  • Eileen Donan (K.Roberson/Devil's Gate (G.Rhee)
  • Nye Country Breakdown (G.Rhee/K.Roberson)
  • Transcendence (K.Roberson/Myron Stewart/Rachel Pinkney)
  • Zaman (K.Roberson)

Edited by David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2005, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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