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"Both Sides Now"
RJ Lannan And Bill Binkelman opine from "Both Sides Now"
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  Renaissance of Grace by Aurora Juliana Ariel, reviewed by RJ Lannan / Bill Binkelman on 1/18/2009
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Love Is Everything
By Fumosonic
Label: One Couch Music
Released 5/13/2008
Love Is Everything tracks
1. All That There Is  
2. Love Is Everything  
3. I Have the Perfect Kind of Love  
4. Your Subtle Ways  
5. Altar of Love  
6. Dehra Dun  
7. You Are the Center of My World  
8. Dream of Love  
9. A Thousand Kisses  
10. Siddhartha  
Love Is Everythimg
Somewhere among jazz, pop and Bollywood is the genre defying music of the duo Fumosonic. Husband and wife team of John Fumo and wife Kelly combine their talents as a trumpeter and vocalist respectively to create their own musical niche in the world. Their new album Everything is Love definitely has groove written all over it, but the different textures and eclectic compositions make the album interesting to me.

John and Kelly met when they were both in the same band, fell in love and began writing songs. John is the jazz enthusiast in the group while Kelly is the contemporary fan. Their diverse paths converge into music that is energizing and contemporary.

All That There Is is a sexy invitation to the pleasures found in a torrid romance. Kelly's voice sounds alluring and John's trumpet is jazzy with counterpoint. Very good bass and percussion on this one. There is some great backup throughout the album with a large cast of musical characters and some good background vocals as well.

Love is Everything is a reference to the album's title and one of the best tracks on the CD. The song has a sultry French speaking voice and echoing background vocals. John plays a muted trumpet that resonates in the cut giving it a sense of mystery. Kelly's baby voice is overshadowed by a strange howling sound that adds darkness to the light of love.

Home of the Garwhal Kingdom, Denhra Dun is a city in the northern part of India noted for its ancient ties to religion and its modern ties to education. Denhra Dun is the name of a song that John and Kelly play and it is full if bright lights and pulsating energy. It has sort of a "Low Rider" kind of feel with that prominent bass, punchy percussion and the shrill sound of the trumpet. Yes, there is all that energy.

Siddhartha is a cut that is different from any other and for this it is my favorite. It is the only instrumental track on the album. It has a Middle Eastern theme with simple trumpet, duduk and bass that turns into perhaps a jazz ballad and comes back full circle into the Middle Eastern tune. Over all, the music is hauntingly beautiful with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Frankly, I wanted to hear more like it.

If you like a mixed bag of jazz and contemporary with just a tinge ethnicity performed by some very talented musicians, then Love Is Everything will suit you just fine. What I liked most about the album is its variety. You probably will too.

Rating: Good + - RJ Lannan
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Seldom do liner notes describe an album's music as well as these do (penned by jazz book author Scott Yanow): "Their music, which is beyond any simple classification, mixes together aspects from jazz, fusion, R&B, funk and pop along with the influence of various types of World Music to create a music that is very new." That sums up Love Is Everything, from duo Fumosonic (Kelly Fumo on vocals and samples and her husband John on trumpet, flugelhorn and keys) quite well, thank you. This is serious Sunbeam Mixmaster music, i.e. put the disparate parts in a blender and hit "PUREE." The result is never less than intriguing and frequently the music invites toe-tapping, head-nodding and maybe even movement of the nether regions in time to the funky, sensual rhythms, intoxicating melodies and Kelly Fumo's sexy voice.

There are way too many accompanists to list them all, and I don’t want any of them to feel left out, but I do want to mention Brad Dutz on tabla and udu (among other percussion) and duduk player Chris Bleth, both of whom impressed me.

Love Is Everything's ten tracks are amalgams of the aforementioned genres with an emphasis on jazz, pop and funk, while the world music elements are usually relegated more to the background (mostly characterized by Middle Easter/East Indian percussive beats). The jazzier side of the music is heard through John Fumo's excellent horn playing (especially his bluesy muted trumpet) as well as some tasty keyboard work now and then. When the funk arrives, it shows its face with heavy bass guitar beats and even the appearance of some wah-wah guitar. Add Kelly's sensuous vocals to this already libidinous mixture and you are invited to a cross-cultural, multi-genre musical feast, whether you have a taste for smoky lounge-ish Latin-influences (Your Subtle Ways), belly-dancing beats blended with crunchy electric guitar (Dream of Love), French/Euro-chill out enhanced with spicy ethnic percussion (Love Is Everything) or a bass-heavy blast-of-sex retro-funk and Fender Rhodes licks (Altar of Love). There's even an ending instrumental that morphs from mournful duduk into a sophisticated free jazz duet of muted trumpet and bass. Nice!

While I think some of the songs' lyrics are a tad cliche and over-the-top (although doubtless sincere), Kelly Fumo's voice is more than pleasing enough that I eventually stopped focusing on the words per se. When it comes to the musical talents of all the artists who appear on Love Is Everything, they got it going on all over the place. This one grew on me after just three playings and my enjoyment caught me more than a little by surprise. Recommended.

Rating: Good + - Bill Binkelman
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Combined Rating: Good +   Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan / Bill Binkelman on 9/9/2008
 
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