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by Doug Collette
The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has been an adventuresome group since first initiated as an eight piece ensemble in its home of Oklahoma in 1994 But the group has quite possibly never lived up so fully to its moniker since realigning itself as a trio (again) in 2013. Keyboardist and charter member Brian Haas, guitarist/lap steel/synth player Chris Combs and drummer Josh Raymer have engaged in ambitious projects like The Race Riot Suite (Kinnara Prod., 2011), as well as self-sufficient ...read more
by Dave Wayne
Of all the bands playing jazz-rock, or fusion, or whatever-you-want-to-call it, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (or JFJO as they're known by their fans) is the one that comes closest to embodying Joe Zawinul's dictum regarding Weather Report's modus operandi: ..."nobody solos, everybody solos." The similarities stop there, however, though JFJO's careening omnivorous creativity, like Weather Report's, has enabled the band to carve out some very distinctive sonic territory. While JFJO's omnivorous jazz aesthetic--one which embraces Earl Hines as well ...read more
by Dave Wayne
Long associated, for better or worse, with the so-called jam band phenomenon of the mid-to-late 1990s, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey continues to generate intelligent, daring, genre-defying music. JFJO's first live recording in a decade or so, Millions: Live In Denver, is part celebration of their 20th year of existence and part revelry in their new sound: a pared-down lineup of keys, drums and guitar. The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based brainchild of keyboardist and composer Brian Haas, JFJO has gone through a ...read more
by Doug Collette
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's Race Riot Suite is a reminder how adventurous the group has always been since its inception in 1994--never more so, perhaps, than in its latest incarnation, in place beginning in 2010. Four intervals, labeled Prayers," are interspersed throughout the seven formally labeled tracks and allow JFJO to demonstrate its own collective and individual skill at improvisation. That cursory and close listens whet the appetite for more such jamming is a tribute to the judicious ...read more
by James Taylor
Jacob Free Jazz Odyssey's Lil Tae Rides Again unfolds more like an eclectic indie-rock album than the jam band romps they've been known to fashion. A marriage of instrumental post-rock-infused jazz in the vein of Tortoise's brilliant TNT (Thrill Jockey, 1998) and hyperactive avant-funk and digital illbient a la DJ Spooky, Lil Tae is the ultimate in accomplishments, a near perfect reinvention of direction and sound. And perhaps that has more to do with the way this ...read more
by Chris May
With Lil' Tae Rides Again, their first studio album since The Sameness Of Difference (Hyena Records, 2005), the mercurially inclined Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey have taken their biggest step so far into the unknown, re-inventing themselves in the process, at least for this project. The band gave unfettered creative control of the finished disc to their Tulsa neighbor, producer and electronicist Tae Meyulks, allowing him to deconstruct and reassemble the raw tracks as the spirit took him.
The ...read more
by Paul Olson
There's no better gigging band than the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. The trio of pianist Brian Haas, bassist Reed Mathis and drummer Jason Smart ought to be a great live band--Haas and Mathis have been playing together for well over a decade (Smart joined the band more recently) and have, year after year, maintained a tour schedule that would crush a less hardy group.JFJO started out in Tulsa (Mathis and Haas still reside there when not on the ...read more