Guitarist Robert Jacobson and his backup trio get off and running in their very first track in their improvisational album Coldwater
, which often plays like an extended, yet fairly balanced, jam session. Of course, the timing and orchestration are structured in the form of an album, but there’s a sense that these guys could keep playing and playing, and never get tired – and that, with more time, they might have come up with even more eclectic results.
Approaching each cut with controlled energy and command, the group impressively, even memorably, infuses nice funk and genuine blues into their music. Besides Jacobson, there’s solid support from the trio of Clark Sommers on double bass, a fine Byron Vannoy on drums, and Wayne Peet, particularly good on organs. What’s memorable here is that none of the funk, blues or improvisational elements overpower each other, but somehow mingle together with completeness. The results aren’t always the jolts of sheer power that you’d hope for, but a welcome respite nonetheless from the more traditional pop jazz that’s out there.
A nice laundry list of some of the better tunes: “Placerita Canyon,” one of the funkier, funnier numbers; “The Airshow,” a lively, upbeat number keeps a nice tempo while smoothly incorporating bass, guitar and organs into an almost seamless whole; the gradually dizzying “Between B and G,” which breaks the coveted ten-minute mark and displays passionate organ riffs by Peet; and finally the return-of-the-funk finale, “Banana Bread,” which rekindles the appealing improvisational sounds the opened the album and get perhaps all too dwarfed in the album’s spottier midsection.