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POP MUSIC REVIEWS : A Hypnotic Time Warp at the Palace

October 24, 1994|STEVE HOCHMAN

You can tell a lot about a band from its encores, and it was rarely so true as at the Palace on Saturday. Headlining MC 900 Ft. Jesus and his seven-piece band ended the evening with two impressive, complex jazz numbers, Thelonious Monk's "Well You Needn't" and Miles Davis' "Freedom Jazz Dance." Second-billed trio Consolidated ended its set by handing the microphone over to audience members who spouted off about vegetarianism and intolerance.

In both cases these encores were distillations of the groups' own main sets. While hip-hop-jazz fusion projects are becoming increasingly common, the Dallas-based Jesus (real name: Mark Griffin) gives his an intriguing twist by drawing on such earlier fusions as Davis' pioneering "Bitches Brew."

Griffin's own droll, stream-of-consciousness beat prose replaced Davis' trumpet, floating atop undulating vamps built on Dave Palmer's electric piano and Chris McGuire's sax excursions. With Griffin's contemporary lyrical twists and DJ Zero's dexterous turntable artistry bringing things up to date, it was an odd, hypnotic time warp of elements, quite unlike anything else on the pop scene.

No such subtleties to Consolidated's rap-rock: The Bay Area group devotes itself to anti-meat, anti-war, anti-macho, whatever-it-is-they're-against-it messages. But their arguments and music were forceful enough Saturday to carry the diatribes, and you gotta admire their conviction. Like the boy in Gunter Grass' "The Tin Drum"--a clip from the movie was part of a video shown on stage--Consolidated seems intent on hammering away until it all stops.

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