Arjun are an instrumental three-piece hailing from New York. Their music is a hybrid of rock and improvisational jazz, the trio consisting of Eddie Arjun Peters on guitar (who also produced this single at Level 11 studios in NYC), Lamar Myers on drums and Andre Lyles on bass. It also features the renowned organist John Medeski (best known for Medeski Martin and Wood) and was mixed by the legendary Scotty Hard (Bjork, Crash Test Dummies).
This single, Core, is the title track from their third album and is six minutes of classily constructed and exquisitely performed blues. Eddie Arjun Peters has the lead melodic role as the guitarist and has a creamy, mellifluous tone to his playing that you associate with the greats. Every phrase is carefully nuanced so that the melodic arc ebbs and flows over the course of the track and every member is playing for the music rather indulging their proficiency or prowess.
The overall vibe has the smoky, late-night feel of the instrumental sections of Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. After two minutes of slowly building guitar phrases, the guitar melody begins to soar upwards leading to a section where Medeski’s organ playing is given centre stage. The tone is warm and rich, to my ear sounding like a Hammond B3 going through a Leslie speaker, a classic organ sound perfectly captured here. Lamar Myers’ drumming and Andre Lyles’ bass playing both give restrained, considered performances and serve the music well, all combining symbiotically to produce a truly epic sound.
Overall, this is a very accomplished piece of modern blues rock, faultlessly played, recorded, mixed and produced. It is refreshing and edifying to hear that this kind of music is still being made in an era of dwindling sales and closing music studios, but there will always be a demand for quality among true music aficionados and I look forward to hearing the rest of the album.
Verdict: 8.7 out of 10