Local Licks 

This week, we review Antioquia, Wayne Wallace, Carmen Jones, and Heavy Heavy Low Low.

Antioquia, Gringolandia. What a name for the debut of four white musicians playing a unique hybrid of Latin, African, and American music. Like San Francisco Afrobeat troupe Albino!, Antioquia doesn't seek to transcend its identity so much as transport it, then share the results through music. At that the group succeeds, with interesting grooves and songs alike. (self-released)

Wayne Wallace, The Nature of the Beat. This San Francisco trombonist can play, but what sets him apart is his affinity for Latin rhythms and his ability to settle into various styles as effortlessly as he floats between them. On The Nature of the Beat, Wallace does Latin funk and jazz, timba funk, cha cha, bolero, and more. None fall short, and the high-energy tracks are irresistible. (Patois Records)

Carmen Jones, Carmen Jones EP. Berkeley High grad Carmen Jones, who has sung with Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and Jamie Foxx, moves two ways on her four-song debut. Songs like "Microdancing" (with Prince and the Revolution's Doctor Fink on keyboards) and "Mrs. Jones" mine early-'80s electro-funk. Soulful R&B ballads comprise the other half. The result is jarring but effective. (self-released)

Heavy Heavy Low Low, Turtle Nipple and the Toxic Shock. Heavy heavy is a fairly apt description of this San Jose band; "low low" doesn't factor into the equation, unless you're talking low tolerance for excess. The quintet's post-post-hardcore undergoes frequent shifts and twists à la prog-rock, but boils them down to the most salient, rough-edged details. (New Weathermen Records)


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