Project Z pays homage in its own way to to the musical philosophy of Col. Bruce Hampton on this explosive record. The band says the Col. helped us to crack open, and in fact Hampton himself joins in the fun on Z Phone. Derek Trucks and Count M’Butu (guitar and percussion respectively) also help out at various points. So what is Project Z up to? It’s ultimately a stew of jam rock that ventures heavily fusion spaces. At their strongest, such as on the funky blues of Mud Bug, the band is a heady roots rock gumbo. At other times, however, their Southern jam jazz fusion featuring the blinding speed runs of Herring’s electric guitar, such as on Raging Torrent, seem longer on technique than on spirit. Still, this collection of tracks, which are all linked by various Guitarguments of acoustic and electric natures, is a heady blend of fine music that draw from the traditions of Col. Bruce Hampton’s experiment and from the instrumental excursions of groups like the Dixie Dregs.