Billy Panic / Ish
Fusion is a genre oft misunderstood, maligned, and given to the favoring of one or more of the musical elements over another - be it permutations of jazz, funk, rock, and so forth. And then there's "Billy Panic" (aka bassist Tony Curatola and guitarist Ron Malkenson) who have mastered the rare feat of actually fusing the aforementioned musical designs with equal balance and purity. You have your grooves (the subtitle "It's All About the Feel" rings true) and stylistic references sans any of the clichés, the playing is masterful, and the compositions display melodic and rhythmic flair. To my ears Ish exemplifies power of the ensemble over the individual - even when these cats improvise, they do so with a collaborative mindset. Props to drummer Alessio Cupo, and keys man Matt King who play to the song with conviction. If this record had come out when there was a record business, and radio wasn't run by millennial bean counters….oh don't get me started.