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World Music CD Reviews North American

Sonic Liberation Front

By Matt Cibula
Published April 27, 2007

Change Over Time
High Two

Worry all you want about how to categorize the music made by this Philadelphia-based ensemble—world music? out-there jazz?—but band members will just laugh and keep on rocking. Leader/percussionist Kevin Diehl makes sure that there is a huge Afro-Cuban rumble under every track, but the tunes themselves are somewhat unpredictable. “D’Accord, Baby” starts as modal jazz with horn stabs, but before you know it, all of a sudden it’s become an African-sounding call-and-response chant. “Dominical” pops back and forth between droney ambient passages and bubbly rocked-up funk. They sound loose, but the tricky polyrhythms on tracks like “Glass Eyes” and “First Rain” are incredibly complicated, and require an awesome amount of skill. But there’s no way they would ever admit this; they’re too busy having fun. The New Orleans-flavored closing title track hints at the kind of party their live shows (already legendary among aficionados) must be.