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CD Reviews

New releases from Fortified PhonetX, Andre Costello and Teddy Pantelas


Fortified PhonetX 
The Plastic Eaters

Pittsburgh hip-hop trio Fortified PhonetX's album The Plastic Eaters is a release sure to satisfy the ears of hip-hop purists. Booming drums, heavy bass rhythms, sample loops, record-cutting scratches and aggressively proud-to-be-underground rhymes define this debut from the FPX crew. MCs Connect and Moemaw Naedon, along with DJ Blacklisted, contributed to the production.

— Rory Webb


André Costello
Summer's Best EP
(Wild Kindness Records)

A follow-up to Costello's full-length from early this year; three pretty tracks with a  cinematic flavor to them. Costello's warm, throaty vocals are comforting but not soporific, and his lyrics and ideas combine youthful curiosity with weathered wisdom. Good stuff.

— Andy Mulkerin

ANDRÉ COSTELLO performs COOL WATER: LIVE MUSIC AND MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE. 7 p.m. Thu., Dec. 13, at 720 Records, 4405 Butler St., Lawrenceville (412-904-4592). Also 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15, at Cannon Coffee, 802 Brookline Blvd., Brookline (412-563-0202).


Teddy Pantelas Trio w/Michael Grappo
Together Again  
(Tatsou Records) 

Solos and solid support characterize the criss-crossing electric-guitar playing of Youngstown Ohio's Pantelas and Grappo, both of whom have also crossed state borders and delighted this side of Pennsylvania. Pantelas' distinctive liquid intonations suggest those of Hill District-born George Benson, flowing and flourishing, often fused with a sense of the blues. Grappo's sound suggests the polished lines and inventive chords of Johnstown's Joe Pass. Also in aural focus are excellent solos by Pittsburgh bassist Jeff Grubbs. This friendly, rarely wailing, seven-track session features three standards, plus pieces by John Coltrane, electric bassist Steve Swallow and Pantelas himself, with  Pat Metheny's "Always and Forever" especially standing out as a loving ballad in these hands. This quartet has it all together.  

— Gordon Spencer

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