Review (Fusion): Gong Xi – Allen Weber
Guitarist Allen Weber calls his music “Sandunga Jazz Fusion (Groove with Energy)” which he considers is a “Jazz Fusion infused with Latin, Carribeo, Funk, Blues, R & B and Rock.” - http://hotshockband.com/
What I liked about this piece was the fusion of styles that came together in an interesting way. The blend of reggae and rock under a Chinese theme creates a curious sonic experience.
Hearing the gong and the chants of AUM in the beginning almost reminded me of John Coltrane’s album “OM.” But the similarities end there the piece goes off in a whole different direction.
The beginning statement “Gong Xi Fa Cai” is a phrase used during the Chinese New Year loosely translated to mean “congratulations you are multiplying wealth.”
This phrase is repeated for several times in the beginning of the song over a reggae groove. The use of guitar effects and distortion add color and variation and then the groove builds into a chromatic interlude section. The interlude foreshadows the entry of the organ solo section (that needed to be brought up in the mix) which is on a whole different vamp entirely. The solo section is definitely rock based using a repeated cadence to build the intensity. The organ solo is followed by the guitar “shred” solo over the same repeated cadence. I like the harmonic and rhythmic variation created by changing the solo sections to a completely different feel.
I guess visually the piece can go both ways. An American rocker goes to Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year and rocks out at a jam session or a Chinese immigrant comes to America and after getting rich celebrates by rocking out.
The piece never returns back to the beginning theme which is an interesting choice compositionally but I think this choice works as a fusion piece.
You can listen to and purchase their album here: