Review: Alan Pasqua – The Anti Social Club

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cover to The Anti Social Club from Alan PasquaA veteran keyboardist who’s played with Tony Williams in his Lifetime band, Alan Pasqua has released a seven track jewel of a fusion masterpiece that harkens back to Miles (i.e., In A Silent Way), the Headhunters, and Weather Report. In fact, every time I listen to The Anti Social Club, I keep hearing more influences.

For some reason, the tunes, for me, are very familiar – I mean that in a good way. This may be a stretch, but here’s why: I was a very big fan of Tony Williams last great band, the one with Mulgrew Miller, Wallace Roney, Billy Hart, and Charnett Moffett. Williams was doing a lot of interesting writing over those last four or five recordings. Pasqua’s compositions remind me of an electric version of that group – or more precise, what may have developed had Williams not died at such a young age. Yes, I know it’s a stretch, and Pasqua last played with Williams a long time ago, but just listen to the trumpet of Ambose Akimusire and the sax of Jeff Elwood, their solos, the song structure………just maybe, who knows.

The Anti Social Club is heady, horn driven fusion, with Pasqua’s spacey distortion ridden keyboards front and center. Nels Cline is very solid on guitar, along with Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets on bass, Scott Amendola on drums, and Alex Acuna rounding out the group on percussion. I’ve never heard of Akimusire, who has a sound that reminds me of Freddie Hubbard, back in his CTI days, or Elwood before; Pasqua was wise to use them as foil to his keys. One last comment, “New Rhodes” – Crank It Up!

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