Born: June 14, 1976 Primary Instrument: Vibraphone
A REVIEW OF OUR DEBUT CD, PARADIGM SHIFT
Actual Proof, a quartet based in Charlotte, North Carolina, consists of vibraphonist Eric Mullis, keyboardist Silas Aldridge, electric bassist Phillip W. Berkley III. and drummer-percussionist Scott Brower. Paradigm Shift is their first full-length CD and it is a very impressive effort.
On Paradigm Shift, Actual Proof revitalizes jazz fusion. Their music is always funky (with powerful bass playing by Berkley), and utilizes the sound of rock, particularly on numbers where guitarist Clint Presley is a guest. But the jazz quotient is also quite high for the band constantly improvises, tugging at and stretching the boundaries of funky fusion, bringing in the best qualities of electric jazz and rock.
The ten group originals set specific moods but are also often episodic with surprises heard along the way, especially the switch to double-time on “Mongo.” Among the other memorable aspects of this well-rounded program are the melody (in 7/4 time) of “The Ion,” the early 1970s groove of “Level It Out,” the way that “Island” develops from a two-chord vamp into a sophisticated song, the otherworldly ensemble sounds on “Future Time,” the infectious funk groove of “Taboo,” and the bluesy ballad “It's Not Goodbye.”
While each of the musicians in Actual Proof are excellent soloists, it is the distinctive ensemble sound that really sticks in one's mind. The prominence of vibraphonist Eric Mullis helps to give the group its own musical personality. With excellent guest appearances from guitarist Clint Presley and altoist Adrian Crutchfield (who sometimes recalls Grover Washington Jr.), Paradigm Shift contains more than its share of variety, danceable grooves and bright moments, showing that there is still plenty of life to be found in creative fusion.
--Scott Yanow, author of ten books on jazz including The Jazz Singers, Trumpet Kings, Bebop, Jazz On Record 1917-76 and Jazz On Film
To preview and download FREE recordings of our live-set, check out the Carolina Live Music Society Website:
Actual Proof's debut CD Paradigm Shift is imaginative, playful, lively and inventive.... Edgy opener 'The Ion' sets the pace, while 'Mongo' surprises with changing tempos and Latinesque tone. There's piano-playing elegance on Island while there's even a Grover Washington soundalike on 'The Ride'. Lew Herman, Creative Loafing (Charlotte)
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