In All Things Modulation
The DC trio of Chauncey Canfield, John-Henry Dale and Dajando Smith are a treat that have the potential to become so much more. As Aubergine 3 (and who would’ve thought to name themselves after an eggplant?), these guys are a rarity: actual jazz musicians who play electronic music. Much like Erik Truffaz or Herbie Hancock, they mix the elements well, with more of a youthful edge than the former two. Unlike their acid jazz progenitors who really didn’t understand hip-hop and, therefore, couldn’t achieve symbiosis, these guys really do understand all the different elements they are collaging. Their music is jazz, lounge, broken beat, nu jazz and funk all rolled into one, beautiful whole.
“Sultro-Matic Principle” is a dreamy groove with beautiful nocturnal-emitting vocals by Rachel Leber. “Don Pisco” is a fun Afro-funk song that really moves. Thievery Corporation and Thunderball sitarist Rob Myers contributes some Indic funk jazz on “Tres Bolivares.” Another fine vocalist, Angela “Chi-Chi” Glass comes on the kitschy “Spunk Le Disco” and “As Wide as the World.” The real gem, though, has got to be “World 6,” which is an incredible jazz/house tune with beautiful transitions and solos that drives home the fact that they are not just DJs, but actual musicians as well. Much like Herbie and his old Headhunters, this song fully realizes the beauty of what jazz can do to edify other genres.
This debut disc is full of promise, fat grooves and fine musicianship. It puts soul and depth into chill-out, which are things the form sorely needs, and takes fusion to a new, fresher level. It is easy to see that great things may come out of Aubergine 3. We should stay tuned.