Michael Bellar & The As-Is Ensemble

Review by Willard Maus

It’s hard to sum up the kind of music Michael Bellar and his three bandmates make on MICHAEL BELLAR & THE AS-IS ENSEMBLE, the CD which has just been released on the Left Three Lanes Music label. Even Bellar, a pianist/composer/producer par excellence, finds it hard to describe what he does. “It doesn’t fit into any clear genre but I guess that’s just a product of who I am as a person and musician–-a rock kid who fell in love with improvisation,” he said in a press note.

Joined by Brad Wentworth and Brook ‘Bongo’ Martinez on percussion and Rob Jost on acoustic and electronic basses, Bellar plays with fiery intensity on the CD’s ten tunes (all of which he wrote, except for Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile and Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.)