Reviewed by Dave O Rama
Alberta’s The Fusionauts grant us all a visitation with four extra jumbo tracks in hand comprising their new sophomore release Mutant, and what a welcome mutation it is. This six piece Edmonton based band lay down some incredible jams live in the studio and recorded straight to 2” analog tape. The sound is big and warm and intimate and boiling over with sonic brain candy.
Yes the name needs to be taken literally as here on Mutant The Fusionauts pump out a sophisticated synthesis of funk, jazz, Brazilian tropicália, and Nigerian Afrobeat. Mutant is a dynamic jazz workout for the dance floor. Gliding all over the funky Lagos rhythms courtesy of electric bassist Shantel Koenig and drummer Bill George you’ll hear an incredible interplay by a collective of incredibly gifted soloists. Keyboardist Paul Richey and guitarist Mo Lefever hold down a tantalizing groove that caresses the brain stem while the brass sections Bob Tildesley (Trumpet) and Jeremiah McDade (Saxophone) trade off a series of stunning dialogues that will light up all the synaptic pathways.
When approaching this Mutant consider all the best things about electric Miles, Jon Luc Ponty, Pat Metheny, Weather Report served over a bed of funky Fela Kuti inspired workouts and garnished with a heavy dollop of Hermeto Pascual, Brazil’s albino musical wizard. The grooves here are perfumed with jungle flowers and salty from the ocean spray. As much a listening experience, as it is a dance floor filler The Fusionauts create a perfectly realized hybrid that serves both the brain and the booty. This beautiful Mutant is an impressive piece of work born from a collective of masterful players.
Originally published in BC Musician Magazine