Tribute – Gobotron
by Aidan Roberts
Local jazz experimentalist Alexander Hewetson has concocted this album with ensemble Gobotron, specifically to pay tribute to the artists who have inspired him in his musical adventures. In this respect, Gobotron’s album is a tribute album in a much truer sense than merely covers – Hewetson and his troupe instead channel the spirits of these diverse and era-spanning influences, exploring their ideas through original compositions and improvisations. It’s a pretty sophisticated sound – Hewetson himself is the bassist here, rock solid and funky, and Matthew McMahon is a fine pianist and plays the Fender Rhodes with a gusty bravado, thickly reminiscent of the 70’s heyday of jazz-rock players. Overall this little concept album is a tidy exploration of style and has some genuinely exciting moments such as the freaky Hayes. Some more token groove-jazz moments take the album dangerously close to the realm of the mundane, but there is enough sass in the band’s playing to keep it interesting. Difficult stuff, this fusion business. But these guys do make it work.