Intoxicate

Intoxicate

by Michael Wolff
     
 
Since his stint as musical director for the “Arsenio Hall Show” ended, pianist Michael Wolff has been steadily moving toward a cohesive band that plays from straight-ahead jazz roots but has a contemporary feel. Those elements converge beautifully in the moody and dramatic Intoxicate. Building on the Miles Davis sound of In a Silent Way and Bitches

Overview

Since his stint as musical director for the “Arsenio Hall Show” ended, pianist Michael Wolff has been steadily moving toward a cohesive band that plays from straight-ahead jazz roots but has a contemporary feel. Those elements converge beautifully in the moody and dramatic Intoxicate. Building on the Miles Davis sound of In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, Wolff puts much emphasis on rhythm and space, relying on tabla player Badal Roy, percussionist Frank Colon, bassist John B. Williams, and drummer Victor Jones to give the tunes global readings. Wayne Shorter’s “Witchhunt” is a West African ritual, with Wolff’s piano and Alex Foster's saxophone evoking the spirits with their solos. “Bells” has the simplicity of an American hymn sung to Roy’s elastic yet smooth tablas. And Lee Morgan’s “Sidewinder” is the universal streetwalker, slinking sassily through the streets of New York, Calcutta, or Rio. For a touch of pop, guitarist Charlie Hunter joins the band for a loose version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” and the DJ Master t steps in for a mesmerizing remix of “Witchhunt.” Intoxicate is not the kind of superficial high one gets at a networking cocktail party; rather, it is that second drink on Friday afternoon after a tough workweek, the one that reminds you of all the possibilities the weekend holds.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Paula Edelstein
Michael Wolff follows his highly successful year 2000 debut, Impure Thoughts, with Intoxicate, a darkly alluring collection of transcendent grooves, exotic Indian tablas, and Brazilian percussion. Wolff's bandmates, collectively known as Impure Thoughts, provide exciting, enjoyable improvisations that complement Wolff's piano prowess. Eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter and master remixer Master T, who adds a hip drum'n'bass-tinged remix of Wayne Shorter's jazz standard "Witch Hunt" on the bonus track, are among the guests on the CD. The ensemble delivers a brilliant cover of Lee Morgan's masterwork "Sidewinder," underscoring it with brilliant colors and compelling solos. Marvin Gaye's R&B hit "Sexual Healing" features Hunter in another eclectic Indian setting, while "Cool" is Wolff's centerpiece, featuring him on acoustic piano accompanied by tabla, berimbau, and bass. Overall, Intoxicate surpasses Wolff's debut because of its wealth of innovative world rhythms, jam band appeal, interesting takes on old friends (in this case, "Sidewinder" and "Witch Hunt"), and the topnotch originality and use of Indian music fused with jazz and soul.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/23/2001
Label:
Indianola Music
UPC:
0000080938521
catalogNumber:
9385

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