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Mark Sandman 

Sandbox: Mark Sandman Original Music

Wednesday, Jan 5 2005
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Morphine addicts, rejoice! (Er, that is if you're hooked on the band, not the drug.) Since the defunct Boston jazz-rock trio's elegant swan song, 2000's The Night, devotees have had to get their fix with obligatory -- and mostly disappointing -- live and best-of packages. Now, Sandbox unearths some of the most engaging recordings of Mark Sandman's abbreviated career, culled from the deceased frontman's overflowing vault of unreleased material. The 31 tracks assembled by former bandmates Dana Colley and Billy Conway for this revealing two-disc set are hardly musical afterthoughts or warmed-over B-sides. From start to finish, Sandman's melancholy drone is as darkly seductive as ever, whether it's blending into the rich fabric of the rollicking "Patience" or rising above the slow burn of "Jealous Dream." Sandbox is an appropriately powerful tribute to Sandman's unique vision, with sterling production values and a wealth of uncovered gems that elevate it to the level of his finest work, 1993's Cure for Pain.

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Rossiter Drake

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