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The band with a name that seems to be a culmination of random selection is scaled down to a trio now. Recorded live at the Knitting Factory, this album provides a glimpse of pianist Brian Haas’ firebrand approach and the rhythm section’s stinging, jazz-funk and rock beats. Especially when they infuse ravenous improvisational forays with swiftly executed shifts in strategy. Haas also provides a rough-hewn edge when utilizing his treated Fender Rhodes. The core trio garners enthusiastic support from percussionists, Chris Lovejoy (“Charlie Hunter Band”) and Chris Theberge (“Groove Merchant”) for a series of high-octane performances.
The band opens with a peppery opus, somewhat amusingly titled “Thelonious Monk Is My Grandmother.” Whereas Hass, Reed Mathis (bass) and Jason Smart (drums) set upon a whirlwind sojourn that might hearken memories of early to mid 70’s jazz-rock, such as England’s fabled “Soft Machine” outfit. The ensemble is nimble, cunning and infinitely more imaginative than what was presented on its 1999 horns-based live release, Welcome Home. You may find it difficult to sit still, as the musicians’ snugly coordinated forays, coupled with a loose and cheery vibe provides the bulk of the excitement. Hence, Brian Haas simply terrorizes his keyboards, with ominous intentions we might add! Recommended.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.