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Known Unknown

11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 4, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Favored Nations
  • Run Time: 47 minutes
  • ASIN: B0001Q5Z08
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,043 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By F.N. Wright on May 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This CD is amazing. A good word for it, among others, is "adventurous." The whole band kicks a$$. Drums are tight and amazingly kinetic, keys are alternatively tasteful and crazy... the technique and overall level of musicianship laid down by this band is outstanding and of the highest order. This disc showcases alot of Vernon's "other" sides. Alot more of a jazz feel to this than on MI -- heads are played unison by guitar/keys then break into improv sections then coming back to the head; these are clearly composed pieces for the most part.
Vernon uses the guitar synth very tastefully and often combines a synth-generated sound with his straight guitar sound to great effect. Of course he also just plain out shreds his tailfeathers off plenty on several cuts.
Vernon sounds better than ever on this album. He really lays it all out and puts to rest any accusations of sloppiness or whatever else naysayers want to level. This is VR at the top of his game. He proves himself worthy (if we didn't already know) of comparison to all the greats of jazz-fusion or any style you care to name.
Very experimental overall with all the players using different sounds and really feeling each other. This is gonna be awesome to see live!
But the bottom line is -- GO GET THIS CD! I've listened to this over and over again since release day and have only growm to love it more and more. And when I'm not listening to it, it's in my head and makes me yearn for it. I like it even better than Mistaken Identity and that CD is tremendous.
I could go on and on about this disc but words don't do it justice. If you're still reading this and your interest is the least bit piqued, just get it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Music Lover on August 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got hooked to Vernon Reid & Masque from their Mistaken Identity album. So I had high expectations for Known Unknown, and I was not dissappointed. So far, this is my favorite album of 2004.

If you're a fan of a fusion of rock, jazz, acid jazz and funk...then you'll dig this stuff. I think the band sounds tighter than Mistaken Identity. Leon Gruenbaum sounds great on keys, Hank Schroy sounds improved on bass. Both have been with Vernon since the Mistaken Idenity album. Marlon Browden (ex-John Scofield) is new on drums and is a great addition keeping things tighter than on Mistaken Identity. And naturally Vernon sounds super charged playing jazzy, melodically, outside the ear, and sometimes fast. This album is all instrumental and includes two jazz standards: Monk's Brilliant Corners and Lee Morgan's Sidewinder.

Get it now! :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Blake Thompson on August 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Vernon Reid is best known as guitarist for Living Colour, but he was a fixture in NYC fusion bands before that. His catalog ranges from hip-hop to metal to jazz, a truly adventurous and uniquely skilled musician.

Known Unknown drops the sampling and hip-hop beats of Reid's last solo project, Mistaken Identity, staying closer to the old Vernon Reid Power Trio fusion/jazz-metal feel. The set includes covers of Thelonious Monk's "Brilliant Colors" and Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder," seemlessly weaving scorching guitar riffs over classic charts.

Comparisons to Jimi Hendrix are inevitable and for once well-deserved. Vernon Reid is an amazing guitarist and his new album shows he continues to stretch his limits.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hjcho on May 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you have been waiting and waiting for the follow-up to Mistaken Identity, your patience is now rewarded. Not with a re-tread, but another oblique, brilliant left turn by Vernon Reid. Known/ Unknown confounds expectations, so instead of loose jams over hip hop beats, the emphasis here is on melody and composition. Vernon cuts loose on the Monk cover "Brilliant Corners" and the bluesy "Time," but a lot of the album rides on a deep groove and emotive themes. Happily, this album is straightforward in its execution, without a lot of overdubs or studio trickery, and thus has a more "live" feel. One of the highlights of Mistaken Identity was the interplay between Reid and Don Byron, and perhaps another strong soloist might have turned the burner up a notch on this set, but on the whole, this recording is another step forward for the mighty VR. I would venture to say Known/ Unknown is a stronger, more coherent record than Living Colour's Collideoscope.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Terry on July 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I must admit that I haven't followed Vernon Reid since the early days of Living Colour. I was just surfing the internet and trying to scope out some great guitarists. Favored Nations had this on their web site to listen to in it's entirety. After going all the way through it twice, I bought it. It tends to be on the harder side of "jazz rock" and Vernon's playing just smokes all the way through. I listen to it over and over again and that's a compliment coming from me. A lot of times I listen to things a couple of times then set them aside in favor of something newer. Now I have to have "Mistaken Identity". Maybe I should collect Living Colour on cd. All I know is Vernon definitely goes on my list of favorite guitarists! Recommended if you dig Buckethead's jazzier stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By piergiovanni gervasi on May 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
both masque cds are great; vernon reid is not just an amazing guitarist (there are many around who just think about developing their tecnique, and vernon's one is simply impressive, but are light years far from his creativity), but a great musician who plays guitar. and this cd is once more so incredibly different and surprising; all the guys in the band, hank schroy, marlon browden, and leon gruenbaum, do a great job. There are so many influences in what you hear here that it is unuseful to distinguish; what you'll actually listen to, is someone who has been following his own solitary path, making some of the most original music you can hear nowadays. it is really cool that leon gruenbaum, the inventor of the revolutionary 'samchillian', the first relativistic musical instrument ever created (yet another guy on a very original path), has space on this cd to show what an amazing musician he is.
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