Best Fusion CD by Local Musicians (2001)

…is it jazz? by Spoken Mercy

Fusion is most often associated with jazz, but this CD begs the question. A blend of flamenco, jazz and rock, Spoken Mercy has fused the three in this locally produced compact disc. The band's debut CD features Gary Norman on guitars and bass, with Tyler Essex doing the percussion and programming. Perhaps ironically, there are no vocals, but none are needed when the music speaks volumes. "Mission San Juan" is the first track, beginning with the sound of church bells tolling as they have in the California mission for centuries. The music is timeless, though. "Bitter Winter" is more traditionally jazz in sound, with "Inca's Revenge" presenting an interesting transition, tribal-like, with unsteady, low rumblings. Even after you listen to the entire CD, you're still left wondering, well, is it?


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