June 28, 2007

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Mocean Worker, Cinco de Mowo!
Hyena/Ryko, 2007

Adam Dorn and his laptop make jazz-mash records by applying pink highlighter to the Forrest Gump instruction manual. You never know what you’ll get, other than a few bars from Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the blind, long-dead multi-instrumentalist Dorn resurrects through careful sampling (Kirk played lead flute in Quincy Jones’ “Soul Bossa Nova,” the main theme from the Austin Powers movies). Jamming from beyond, Kirk throws in his lot with a techno/jazz idea whose time is way past due, something both danceable and tirelessly musical, a no-brainer genre-merger: picture Dizzy Gillespie and Jelly Roll Morton punching the clock on a fringe techno record and you’ve got the gist. Dorn’s early recordings put him on the fast track to become an electro also-ran, but as of 2005’s Enter the Mowo, he’s parlayed the high-profile friendships he made in the jazz world into something too uniquely quaint for college radio to ignore. Live contributors include Herb Alpert, Steven Bernstein and singer Alana Da Fonseca: AEric W. Saeger