122

Willie Oteri's Jazz Gunn: Concepts of MateMaToot

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Willie Oteri's Jazz Gunn: Concepts of MateMaToot Hot and cool jam-band excellence from Austin, Texas. Over the past decade, the stigma has faded from Miles Davis’ electric experiments, and many valuable elements in the music have been recognized as it finally moved into its time. Willie Oteri and Jazz Gunn offer an enticing update of the electric Miles aesthetic, including power-pumped covers of two Davis fusion staples (“Spanish Key” and Joe Zawinul’s “Pharaoh’s Dance”). The liner notes don’t shed any light on just what “MateMaToot” represents, but in listening to this disc, one can surmise that it involves the earnest strip-mining of the early promise of jazz-rock fusion.

Bassist Chris Maresh will be familiar to fans of Eric Johnson’s music, while the other musicians here are best known to patrons of the Austin area jam scene. Maresh has one luxury that Davis bassist Michael Henderson rarely had: the freedom to move about the music as an equal partner instead of holding down ominous ostinatos. That elbow room, combined with the vision and facility of the other performers, injects an accessibility into this music that Miles’ own explorations often lacked. The unrelenting suspense of “Pharaoh’s Dance” is still present, however, as much as the darkness in “Spanish Key”.

Not that Jazz Gunn is entirely about revisiting the Davis legacy, not at all. “Song of the Sea Witch” is a pretty, rock-inflected ballad feature for saxophonist Michael Malone. The initial attitude of “MateMaToot” is urgent, funky and tense, but it opens up into major-key lightness before the thud and spikiness return. The disc closes with a 15-minute funk jam that shows these players at the peak of their creativity. Bandleader Oteri is a formidable frontman who’s more than willing to give some to the drummer, bassist and everyone else when he isn’t burning up his axe. Jazz Gunn is a sparkling jam band with an eye to the past but a most promising future.

(For more information, contact wilicry@ecpi.com)


Track Listing: Spanish Key; Song of the Sea Witch; MateMaToot; Pharaoh

Personnel: Willie Oteri, Chris Tondre, guitars; Michael Malone, tenor and soprano saxes; Chris Maresh, bass; Brannen Temple, drums.

Title: Concepts of MateMaToot | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: OteriTunes


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Interview
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Henry" CD/LP/Track Review Henry
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Behind The Mist" CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Here’s to You..." CD/LP/Track Review Here’s to You...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.