Hazmat Modine is the kind of ensemble that could have come only from New York. The core group consists of harmonica virtuosos Wade Schuman and Randy Weinstein, tuba player Joseph Daly, drummer Richard Huntley, guitarist Pete Smith, and Pamela Fleming on trumpet and flugelhorn. The fifteen-track CD presents an ensemble with a Sybil complex of multiple musical personalities. "Yesterday Morning" resembles a New Orleans funeral dirge with a reggae beat. "It Calls Me" melds the Mississippi Delta with Huun-Huur-Tu''s Asian-born Tuvan throat singing. The exotic array of instruments includes the Romanian cimbalon, zamponia, Hawaiian steel guitar, electric banjitar, contrabass sax, claviola, and bass marimba. In the hands of lesser musicians this stuff would sound like a mess, but these guys make it work, with dancing diplomacy that would put the U.N. to shame. If this isn''t world music, I don''t know what is. --Eugene Holley, Jr.
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