The Avengers – On a Mission
(Gudari Records no cat. no. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Beledo, leader and main composer of the New York-based Avengers (a name referring to masked comic-book characters, not the UK’s Steed–Peel duo), is a Uruguayan guitar hero who rose to fame via work with progressive bands such as Maytreya and Siddhartha (in his teens) and latterly with the band Opa.
He wrote seven of the eight tracks on On a Mission (the sole exception, ‘Portia’, was written by Marcus Miller) and they’re basically tricksy, pleasantly meandering vehicles designed to accommodate his own virtuosity, which informs a muscular, spiky but fluent soloing style skilfully showcased by his three stellar bandmates, keyboard player Adam Holzman (of Tutu-period Miles Davis fame), bassist Lincoln Goines and drummer Kim Plainfield – a close-to-definitive contemporary US fusion band.
The album was released in 2012 on Gudari Records (Beledo’s own label), but is being championed by MoonJune (the natural home of such music) because The Avengers are now signed to the label, and On a Mission thus provides a tasty aperitif for future recordings, packed as it is with punchy, tight, unfussy but consistently intelligent fusion, impeccably performed.