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New album from Burkhard Mahler unites world of jazz, rock, and electronica
(Published: November 06, 2011)

Boundaries, both stylistic and physical, are busted down on the latest album from Burkhard Mahler. A collaboration with saxophonist/guitarist/pianist Peter Schickling, Best of Fusion unites the worlds of jazz, rock & roll, and electronica for a dazzlingly inventive and futuristic hybrid. Furthermore, like the Roger Waters-commandeered Pink Floyd, Mahler and Schickling seem to have lost their anchor to Earth at times, leaping into extraterrestrial regions that only visionary musicians can reach.

The otherworldly adventures that Mahler and Schickling embark upon are perhaps best exemplified by "The Sax Lounge 2." An icy, disembodied female voice asks, "Do you love me, too'" as Schickling's sax breathes in and out of a synthetic cauldron. It's quite a trip and recalls the consciousness-expanding abilities of the most transcendent psychedelic music. "The Sax Lounge 2" is light years ahead of most contemporary jazz; Mahler is clearly seeking to break new ground here while remaining accessible to casual listeners.

Mahler's utilization of his rock inspirations is not as straightforward as other artists who blend the genre with jazz. For example, "The Other Side" is about as otherworldly as music gets with its interstellar guitars and David Bowie-ish vocals. "The Other Side" is one of the key songs on the record in that it openly expresses Mahler's fascination with the unknown.

On a less experimental note, shimmering melodies illuminate the dark beauty of "Nightpiano." It is here where Mahler and Schickling strike the most indelible moment of Best of Fusion as its union of subtly executed piano jazz and futuristic electronic rhythms achieves a heavenly marriage. Best of Fusion doesn't sound like anything else in a clone-drenched jazz market, and it deserves the widest applause.

More Information: http://www.burkhardmahler.de

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