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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Tom Chang: Tongue & Groove (Raw Toast Records)

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Guitarist-composer Tom Chang opens Tongue & Groove loud with the appropriately named “Spinal Tap/Goes to 11,” whose whirling jazz is amped up by electric guitar and a heavy touch on the drum sticks while fierce soloing is heard in the sax section. But much of the latest album from the New York musician and his combo draws from less familiar influences, especially the classical ragas of South India. The result is contemporary jazz with sophisticated harmonics, fluid rhythms and intuitive ensemble performances.