As freewheeling as high octane as contemporary rock influenced jazz fusion gets these days, electric guitarist Bernie Mora and his hot blooded ensemble Tangent may dub their latest set No Agenda, but they’ve got one – to wake our ears to powerful new sonic frontiers for the genre, and energize our feet, hands, heart and soul in the process.
On funky blasters like “Commando Roll” and “Cup A Joe,” he gets ample solo heart time between rambunctious passages grooving with Corey Allen (keys), Doug Webb (sax), Lee Thornburg (trumpets and trombone), Daniel Becker (bass) and Charles Godfrey (drums/percussion). Yet for fans of the genre who like more finesse, it’s not all hard rock and roll. Tracks like the tight, punchy, horn-drenched “Pale Moon Funk” is more like a TOP funk tune waiting for that scorching guitar release (which comes eventually!), while “Take Me Away” is a free-flowing funk/jazz gem buoyed by Allen’s spirited piano musings and Mora’s crisp rhythm guitar.
Taking the tempo down a bit further, “It’s a Honu World” is a dreamy, tuneful stroll blending the sweet soaring passions of Allen and Webb. The emotional centerpiece blending the best of both approaches (on fire and slow simmering) is “Doc the Clock,” a high impact tribute to the group’s former drummer, the late Doc Anthony.