Trumpeter Mac Gollehon is one of the most in-demand musicians around, having played on literally thousands of records, including more than two hundred gold and platinum albums since the 1970’s, including his decade-plus run in Duran Duran. He’s widely known for his mainstream contributions on chart-topping albums including Onyx’s ‘Slam’, Blondie’s ‘The Hunter’, David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’, Billy Ocean’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car,” as well as records from Madonna, Hall & Oates, Chaka Khan, Buddy Rich, Al Jarreau, Sheena Easton, Nile Rodgers, Patrick Adams, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Hector Lavoe, and hundreds of others. If that were not enough, since the late 1990’s he has been working in more experimental areas in his solo work as well as collaborating with the likes of the wonderful Gridfailure, who pushes musical boundaries time and again. Here he is back with the latest from his Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics project, providing trumpet, keyboards, and scat vocals while he is joined by Eric Klaastad on bass, Jeanne Carno on drums, and Ismael Sanchez performing additional percussion. Engineer Adan Perez supplies additional keyboards on “Coming At You,” Ariel Lawler supplies background vocals on “Sleepwalker,” and David Brenner (Gridfailure) provides sound effects on “Souled Out.”

The result is something which truly does not belong together as he brings together different musical ideas but instead of fusing them together, he keeps the parts distinctly separate yet somehow manages to have it all make sense. Take “Maczone” for example, here he has an underlying synth dance track which belongs in a rave and never varies. Then over the top we have his trumpet which bears no relation whatsoever to what is happening beneath, and I have no idea why. “Bite of the Street” is nothing but Latin and Mariachi taken into the weird underworld, and stretched beyond all imagination as it is twisted into something strange and demonic. Gollehon refuses to obey any sort of musical rules, and it is this adventurous spirit which makes this album so interesting as these arrangements just do not belong, yet somehow, they do.

He is a master trumpeter, but it is this refusal to conform which makes this such a fascinating release. All one can say at the outset is that the main musical lead will be a trumpet, but after that all bets are off and this does not sound like any other album I have come across as there is still an innate musicality in what he is doing. This is not experimentation to create noise, but rather remove any boundaries cultural norms have put in place for his favoured instrument. Not for the fainthearted, but it is richly rewarding.

Rating: 8/10