If you’re coming to COOKUP for faithful renditions of its ’90s and early-2000s R&B source material, don’t. But if you want to hear a few talented musicians deconstruct that material to a point almost beyond recognition, it’s hard to think of another album that’ll do it. Like a lot of the LA-based multi-instrumentalist’s music (check out Superstore or the warped standards of Satin Doll), the performances here don’t try to communicate songs so much as circumscribe them through negative space, whether it’s the reading of a personal ad over “Are You That Somebody” or a version of “Crazy in Love” that sounds half-remembered in real time. Sketchy, fragmented, a little evasive. But the looseness is a mood, and anyone familiar with Gendel knows that mood is where he finds his music.

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