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 love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.