by Christopher Ho

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Much of pianist Chris Ho's brilliantly wrought Lifetime disc plays like the Rippingtons would, were Russ Freeman's band a bit more straight-ahead inclined. Rolling along at a speedy clip, its high energy, largely sax, guitar, and synth driven fire is pop-funk based, but breaks every so often for a little traditional flavored passage. Though Ho bills this as a solo project, his unit -- featuring guitarist Michael O'Neill, alto saxophonist Wayne Wayne, and keyboardist John Balbuena -- shines as brightly, if not more so, than he does. It's ensemble work at its most democratic, but when Ho finally takes his cue to remind us whose name is on the label, he takes full advantage of our hunger. The title track -- a classical flavored piece which detracts from the bombs going off around it, but is a revelation taken on its own merit -- is a showcase for Ho's elegant compositional flair. And the band's sense of adventure is not limited to the fun pop tunes. The closing tracks evolve slowly as jazzy, seemingly spontaneous jam sessions; these fully capture Ho's explanation of this project on the liner notes as "real music by real men in real time."

Product Details

Release Date: 03/18/1997
Label: Ichiban Old Indie
UPC: 0019011453026
catalogNumber: 4530

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