Garaj Mahal - Mondo Garaj



Garaj Mahal is the merger of four virtuoso musicians, bassist Kai Eckhardt, guitarist Fareed Haque, drummer Alan Hertz, and keyboardist Eric Levy, who successfully blend the styles of jazz, funk, and rock like no other band before them. Perhaps the label of “Jamband Supergroup” suits them most appropriately, as these players each have an impressive musical resume for which they bring to Garaj Mahal. Their unique blend of styles and musical cohesiveness have earned them praise by both fans and musicians alike, and their latest release, “Mondo Garaj,” only further proves that Garaj Mahal is the real deal and are torchbearers to a jamband movement all their own.
It is obvious from the opening track that each member and their respective instrument are like a mighty river. Yet, once they begin playing together, these rivers become tributaries to a much more powerful force. The instruments become "one" together. The solid contributions of DJ Fly Agaric, DJ Roto, and Michael Kang (of String Cheese Incident) on several tracks only assist in bringing the band to new musical and exploratory heights.

My only gripe with this album is that a few songs are cut short or faded out, when it seems like Garaj Mahal's musical exploration is only beginning. Nevertheless, this is all the more reason to see these guys in concert where they have the opportunity to expand on each jam and explore each song to its fullest potential. The future is very bright for Garaj Mahal and with each subsequent live concert and studio release, they only further etch a place for themselves in the upper echelon of not only the "Jamband" genre, but in all music.

by Peter Kolesari