Hardcoretet: Do It Live (2012)
Hailing from Seattle, Hardcoretet convey glimpses of vintage jazz fusion along with inferences to the region's renegade stylistic tendencies, topped off with youthful fortitude. Essentially, the group packs a big punch into this LP-length outing. A tight-knit and well-rehearsed unit, the musicians also delve into loose-groove frameworks, awash with clear and articulately executed sax and keys parts amid spiking dynamics and subtle shifts in tempo. Hardcoretet also transmits a radio-friendly vibe in spots, owing to compositions that are designed with melodic hooks. But swelling intensity, punishing crescendos, and heated improvisational exchanges offer additional forums for the artists to stretch their wares.
Indeed, it's a charismatic unit. On "Distractions in Direction," Martell Brown's warm sax parts infer a foreboding undertow, spiced by Aaron Otheim's crisp electric piano voicings. However, they elevate the piece into a power-packed venture, offset by nimbly exercised unison runs with a topsy-turvy line of attack. Catchy riffs nicely counter dreamy soundscapes as a touch of studio-generated echo delivers a glimpse into the netherworld. Hence, raw firepower gives way to ethereal qualities as they model structural components via several distinct parts, eliciting a seamless coalition of diverse routes.
The quartet kindles remembrances of classic Return to Forever on "Urban Tribes." Here, they begin with a stewing motif and stir the kettle afterwards. Hardcoretet illustrates a newer and perhaps more streamlined view of jazz fusion. The artists make every note count and are more concerned with song forms rather than rendering endless soloing jaunts. They impart a comprehensive vernacular and are obviously having some fun along the way.
Track Listing: Santa Barbara; Yeti; Distractions In Direction; Steady; Urban Tribes.
Personnel: Tarik Abouzied: drums; Art Brown: alto saxophone; Tim Carey: electric bass; Aaron Otheim: keyboard.
Record Label: Tables & Chairs