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Bryan Kelley
Charming the Gods
Groove House Records

Neatly textured acoustic guitar sequences, subtle folk-rock backing and emotional lyrics give this L.A.-based singer/songwriter's music a sensitive quality. His tender vocals are well suited to his expressive songs, many of which seem inspired by fatherhood. Likely thinking of his unborn daughter, he sings, "I will soon become your father/though your face is still a mystery," on "Fear." On the title track, Kelley observes, "She almost touched the heavens/Now her wings slowly melt away/Is she charming the gods?/As the world floats beneath her/she's free." The romantic "Postcards From Yesterday" is haunting with its quiet violins, while "Where Are They Now" sways with a tropical rhythm. Although fairly innocuous, Kelley's music has an appealing sincerity that makes it very pleasant. (Sarah Quelland)

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Danilo Perez
Central Avenue

Many Latin jazz releases focus on Cuban rhythms; with Central Avenue, pianist Danilo Perez captures the many African elements of Latin America. For this project, the Panama native has assembled an impressive group of musicians, including bassist John Patitucci (Chick Corea) and percussionist Miguel "Anga" Diaz (Roy Hargrove Crisol, Patato Ritmo y Candela). Central Avenue is a powerhouse from beginning to end. Perez's take on John Coltrane's "Impressions" is distinctly original, especially with the addition of ethereal vocals by Luciana Souza. The tabla playing on "Impromptu" is initially hypnotic, then travels alongside the bass as the piece comes to its climax. The most interesting piece is "Panama Blues," a composition built around the recording of a folk singer in Panama that Perez ingeniously weaves into a solid jazz tune. (Diana Sanchez)

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(damn everything but)

I'd never heard of Dura-Delinquent until I got a media kit in the mail, but scanning the CD jacket, I realized I went to high school with the guitarists. They were about two years younger than I was and likely would never remember me. But who could forget two inseparable, quiet rebels like little Nicolas Dobbratz and Phillip Minning? Not so quiet now, their unusual band's raunchy rock music reveals a flamboyant Elvis influence, and its artsy flair and trashy chic have an unruly punk quality that's well punctuated by wild yelps, grunts, moans and wails. The twangy guitars and slow-motion pace of "Delicately Perverse" give the song a mysteriousness as vocalist Hans Dobbratz teases with "I know all about the fires you can't put out." Other standouts include "The Hollywood Diet," "Her Caviar" and "You Turn Me On." (SQ)

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From the March 11-17, 1999 issue of Metro.

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