TriBeCaStan Strange Cousin

It's a whimsical name but a fascinating sound. As you may have guessed, this is New York through and through, although it's more like the New York of 12 Monkeys — deserted, hostile and full of exotic animals that have escaped from the zoo. Strange Cousin is, as they say, fake-ass world music, where instruments from all over come together to get freaky. Noted ethno-experimentalists Matt Darriau and Steve Turre, amongst others, join John Kruth and Jeff Greene for music that tends to stay in a highly composed, acoustic vein but veers off into unidentifiable rhythms. "The Bottle Man" starts with a mournful Bulgarian gaida before taking a left turn into pseudo-Ireland. "Tribecastan Traffic Jam" reincarnates the spirit of Roland Kirk into an armada of tuned car horns and deep acoustic bass; jazz is also referenced with a cover of Don Cherry's "Mopti." Yet this is no overcooked mess. If it were all sample-based it almost certainly would be but the interaction of skilled players that write innovative arrangements is always a winning combo. File this one under future roots. (Evergreene)