... Is This a Machine? (Bean Pie)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Aug. 29, 2003
Gnappy... Is This a Machine? (Bean Pie) Alphabetically speaking, Gnappy falls within two degrees of separation from the asphyxiating "j" word. Both of them. One, pedigreed and proud -- the veteran, wizened beyond classicism. The other, young, groovy -- man. Both genrify this Austin foursome (guitar, bass, drums, and sax), constraining it also if the group's second album, ... Is This a Machine?, is an accurate indication. Eleven originals and a cover of Black Sabbath's "N.I.B" equal 63 minutes of classic groove. Guitarist Buck McKinney and sax/gritos/propagandist Marcus Cardwell are never at a loss for ideas or riffs, while the rhythm section -- bassist Brad Bradburn and drummer Kevin Pearson -- is having their own tennis match and suddenly it's doubles and the tune is flying. Opener "Best Not Funk Around" could be any Medeski Martin and Wood, Charlie Hunter, or Blaze loosen-up, and it's followed by "News Flash," which is. "Rice Funk" follows that with some Les McCann type horn raunch as impressive as McKinney's songwriting credit on it. "Alien Proganda," "Ice You in the Alley," and especially "Paul's New Suit" all have standout, open-air riffs; you can imagine a festival field full of flip-flop mop tops and dapper erudites moving to the Gnapster. Dig it. Don't call it jazz, don't call it jam. Gnappy it is.