New York City-based drummer Scott Kettner and his quintet, dish out slightly raucous grooves along with a cerebral touch and lots of character on this gleeful recording titled, Holy Oak. This band pursues a no frills vibe while also hearkening back to 70’s and 80’s style jazz/rock/funk, thanks to saxophonists Matt Parker and Julio Monterrey’s acute utilization of FX pedals and Jared Shapiro’s, textural synth performances on selected tracks. However, Kettner provides the glue that bonds this energetic outfit together as they proceed to embark upon a search and destroy mission brimming with rock/funk/swing vibes, climactic momentum, tasteful soloing and an altogether festive yet no nonsense demeanor. Works such as “Odd Moments” and “Fyodor” feature the drummer’s driving 4/4 pulses, John Davis’ ostinato bass lines, the saxophonist’s phased wah-wah induced EFX soloing, guitarist Aaron Nevezie’s cleanly executed lines and much more!
Kettner stirs up the pot with his sweeping polyrhythmic drum solo on “Holden’s Journey” while the ensemble rekindles memories of the great 60’s & 70’s British jazz-rock group, “Soft Machine” during the frisky and impacting piece, “Blu-Dawg”. With this spunky new release, the musicians’ seemingly derive inspiration from the recent past, in concordance with an emblematic and thoroughly modern approach. Recommended!