It happened on a summer afternoon at Cyclone Sound, out on Coney Island. NYC's own original vets of the underground formed a new group called Doctor Phibes, and recorded their debut CD, Portable Darkness. It's rare these days to record even one song in a day let alone an entire CD, but true to the old school tradition, the session was recorded in one take, live in the studio. How would you describe the music? Some have called it "edgy, electric jazz", which is true, except that in addition to the electronics, there are lots of acoustic instruments in the mix. The word jazz itself is a little ambiguous these days. Is it smooth, free, traditional, straight ahead? When you have legendary hard-core producer Don Fury together with eight seasoned musicians, whose careers have spanned from art-house, rap, rock, free jazz, R&B, classical, the lines get blurred. If there appears to be a psychic connection between the players, it is probably because they have played together in various combinations for over two decades. Jon Bates, Mustafa Ahmed and Charles Compo pioneered the Williamsburg art scene in Brooklyn, moving into one of the first artist converted lofts in 1979. Ted Daniel's group, Energy, had the steady Monday night gig at Ali's Alley in Soho before a single boutique graced West Broadway. Don Fury played a crucial role in starting the famous CBGB hardcore matinee with Hilly Kristal, and all the members of Doctor Phibes have been jamming around the New York scene, Europe, and throughout the world for decades. The group features Ted Daniel, Curtis Fowlkes and Charles Compo providing plenty of old fashion blowing and stretching, accompanied by the hard-hitting drum and percussion team of Jon Bates and Mustafa Ahmed, along with the keyboard magic of Anthony Stewart and Matthew Friedman, and the celestial bass work of Jerry Brooks.
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