Thursday, November 16, 2017

CAB - 2000 "CAB"

CAB is a jazz fusion supergroup founded by Bunny Brunel, Dennis Chambers, and Tony MacAlpine. Since their formation in 2000, they have released four studio albums and two live albums. Their second album, CAB 2, received a nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the 2002 Grammy Awards. Other members who have been a part of CAB include Patrice Rushen, Virgil Donati, David Hirschfelder, and Brian Auger.

When asked about the band's name, Brunel said:

...Center Tone Records wanted me to record an album with Dennis Chambers and Tony MacAlpine. [I thought I’d create an acronym of our last names] Chambers, Alpine, and Brunel. I didn’t know that MacAlpine was an ‘M’ and not separate from the ‘A.’ But we thought it was a good way to carry the music... CAB, so we left it like that.
— Bunny Brunel

Remember that old Star Trek episode where an alien race is able to move around the Enterprise at an infinitely quicker pace than Kirk and company? Listening to Cab, you might wonder whether Tony MacAlpine, Bunny Brunel and Dennis Chambers aren’t members of that same alien race. This trio spawns a turbo-charged blend of jazz and rock guaranteed to rattle windows and wake the sleeping.

Fusion fans know Dennis Chambers as one of the most powerful and precise drummers in contemporary music. French bassist Bunny Brunel is best known for his work with Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. The name Tony MacAlpine might be less familiar to jazz fans. A classically trained musician who first learned piano and violin, MacAlpine has toiled for 15 years as a progressive metal guitarist often compared to Yngwie Malmsteen. MacAlpine plays both guitar and keys on this album.
Cab is a high-octane fusion release chock full of lightning-fast exchanges and unthinkable improvisations. Brunel and Chambers are dynamic together, and MacAlpine is a wildman guitarist. Though I could do without some of MacAlpine’s synthesized keyboard solos, the tunes provide an interesting framework for the players fiery improvisations.

Five tracks were penned by Brunel, two by Brunel in partnership with Japanese guitarist Kazumi Watanabe, and three by MacAlpine. (Watanabe does not play on the album.) All 10 tracks are good, but three of Brunel’s compositions stand out for me. "Night Splash" is complex, fast-moving piece with a Latin feel that includes brief solos by all three players, including an amazing machine-gun run by Chambers. "One for Stern" is a bluesy fusion number with Brunel on both fretless and piccolo basses and Brian Auger sitting in on organ. "Bernard" is a stirring number co-written by Brunel and Watanabe that showcases Brunel on five-string piccolo synth bass.

Listening to Cab is a bit like being chased by bulls through the streets of Pamplona for 50-plus minutes. You might wish for a slow interlude just to catch your breath, but you’ll feel exhilarated.

Guitarist/keyboardist Tony MacAlpine, known for chest-swelling rock-classical hybrids, has occasionally tinkered with jazz-rock elements on earlier releases. Here, he fully invests himself in a fusion trio that includes bassist Bunny Brunel (who owns credits with Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock) and David Chambers (Parliament-Funkadelic). Along with being the album's featured instrumentalist, Brunel wrote seven of the disc's 10 tracks, with MacAlpine penning the final three. The results are attractive, if not always arresting. MacAlpine takes flight as a soloist only sporadically, most memorably when responding to his own meaty rock chops in the title track and during an elaborate run on the concluding selection, "Bernard." MacAlpine's output on keyboards surfaces almost as often as his riffing, lending a Return to Forever vibe to a package that shines more brightly when MacAlpine and Brunel give themselves room to cook (as on the Satriani-like "Boogie Me") rather than simmer.

Track listing:

1. "Night Splash" Bunny Brunel 5:20
2. "CAB" Brunel 7:16
3. "So There Is Love" Tony MacAlpine 3:41
4. "Just Perfect" Brunel 5:05
5. "One for Stern" Brunel 6:59
6. "The Watcher" MacAlpine 3:47
7. "Atamanashi" Brunel, Kazumi Watanabe 5:23
8. "Boogie Me" Brunel 4:39
9. "Elastic Man" MacAlpine 5:15
10. "Bernard" Brunel 4:37

Total length: 52:02


Tony MacAlpine – guitar, keyboard
Bunny Brunel – keyboard, bass, engineering, mixing, production
Dennis Chambers – drums
Brian Auger – organ



  2. Many thanks! I had the 320kbps version but this is a lot better!

  3. Thank you Crimhead420!

  4. Inspiring quest there. What happened after? Thanks!