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Dr. Aljazz

Dr. Aljazz It´s always a plus when people have multiple talents. Some athletes paint; some hip-hop stars make movies. Nowadays, you almost need a second trade to make it in this world, and local gastroenterologist Dr. Albert Fernandez-Bravo understands this perfectly well. The local doctor, who goes by the name Dr. Aljazz, moonlights as an ax-wielding free-jazz guitarist, and he´s recently put out his debut, self-titled CD. It´s actually a double disc, and all of the 23 songs included here were written, composed, and produced by Aljazz himself. The Plantation-based musician bares his soul on the double release, playing not only guitar, which is his specialty (aside from the digestive system), but also drums, bass, piano, and trumpet, and he even sings. Songs like ¨I Want You¨ are all Weather Report-style free jazz, while other tracks dip into modern rock and blues, and a few have touches of metal in them. There are some songs here that shouldn´t have made the cut, and, arguably, Dr. Aljazz could have easily been a single-disc effort. But there´s a lot of variety, and the well-trained musician, who studied at the Berklee College of Music, will probably throw some listeners for a loop by putting so many musical styles on one release. Standout tracks include ¨Summertime,¨ which rolls along like a lazy Sunday afternoon; ¨Gonna Make It Fly¨; and the bass-heavy ¨I Feel Fine.¨ What´s interesting is that Aljazz is able to put out a concept album that´s all about chasing a woman and courtship. Aljazz would be Aljazz if he sang less and focused more on the instrumentation. At times, some of these songs are so well-composed, it´s a shame that Aljazz´s mediocre voice is on top of them. Still, it´s a good debut effort, and if you can deal with the vocal musings of the doctor, this disc is a local treat.
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Jonathan Cunningham

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