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Jazz 21/10/2004

Michael Wolff delivers a 'Dangerous Vision' evoking 1970s film scores, modern Hip-hop beats and jazz icons

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NEW YORK (Artemis Records) - Michael Wolff and his band Impure Thoughts have delivered a riveting new album, DANGEROUS VISION. Set for release November 9th on Artemis Records, DANGEROUS VISION is sinister, cinematic, sensual, confident. "It's the record I've always wanted to make," says Wolff.

From the menacing title track, which opens the CD, it's clear that Wolff has tapped into a new voice within. Ominous piano bars give way to a muscular hip-hop drum beat, and the song jumps to life. Wolff's Fender Rhodes adds an unsettling three note theme, and the listener is immersed in a dark dreamscape, evocative of the tension in Scorcese's 'Taxi Driver" or the paranoia of Schlesinger's "Marathon Man". Wolff's rapid-fire solo mid-way through is pure adrenaline. "His technical abilities push the edge of madness at times, in all the right ways," noted Keyboard Magazine. The intensity of the title song is warmly contrasted by the sweetness of "St. Thomas," the sensuality of "Rupak," the serenity of "In the Moment" and the melancholy of "Empty House."

DANGEROUS VISION is nine songs in all: Five original tracks by Michael Wolff, plus new takes on Nat Adderley's "Work Song," John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas," and "Soul Sauce" by Dizzie Gillespie and Chano Pozo. "I wanted to revisit some of the songs that meant a lot to me coming up as a musician," says Wolff. Recorded over three days and nights in Los Angeles, then mixed and mastered in New York, DANGEROUS VISION features Wolff on piano, Badal Roy on tablas, Airto Moreira on percussion, John B. Williams on bass, Victor Jones on drums, with Mike Clark on additional drums. Downbeat Magazine has said: "Impure Thoughts represents a pinnacle in the modern amalgamation of ethnic music styles."

Michael Wolff has signed with Artemis Records. "Danny Goldberg has been incredibly supportive of this record and the approach we've taken. This is the relationship every artist hopes to have with their label," says Wolff. Wolff first met Danny Goldberg via his friendship with Warren Zevon.
Artemis then joined with Wolff's Indianola imprint as a distribution partner for last year's 'Christmas Moods' (which featured Zevon.) Now, with DANGEROUS VISION, Artemis is Wolff's sole label for the first time.
"There's no doubt that I was looking to create a new sonic template for this album, to make a jazz CD that sounded crisp, unusual, distinctive." With that in mind, Wolff spent a lot of time listening to 'Uninvinsible' by Medeski Martin & Wood, and 'These Are the Vistas' by The Bad Plus.
Ultimately, DANGEROUS VISION achieves the in your face piano and drum quality that had thus far eluded Wolff.

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