Hailing from Seattle, Hardcoretet convey glimpses of vintage jazz fusion along with inferences to the region's renegade stylistic tendencies, topped off with youthful fortitude. Essentially, the group packs a big punch into this LP-length outing. A tight-knit and well-rehearsed unit, the musicians also delve into loose-groove frameworks, awash with clear and articulately executed sax and keys parts amid spiking dynamics and subtle shifts in tempo. Hardcoretet also transmits a radio-friendly vibe in spots, owing to compositions that are designed with melodic hooks. But swelling intensity, punishing crescendos, and heated improvisational exchanges offer additional forums for the artists to stretch their wares.
Indeed, it's a charismatic unit. On "Distractions in Direction," Martell Brown's warm sax parts infer a foreboding undertow, spiced by Aaron Otheim's crisp electric piano voicings. However, they elevate the piece into a power-packed venture, offset by nimbly exercised unison runs with a topsy-turvy line of attack. Catchy riffs nicely counter dreamy soundscapes as a touch of studio-generated echo delivers a glimpse into the netherworld. Hence, raw firepower gives way to ethereal qualities as they model structural components via several distinct parts, eliciting a seamless coalition of diverse routes.
The quartet kindles remembrances of classic Return to Forever on "Urban Tribes." Here, they begin with a stewing motif and stir the kettle afterwards. Hardcoretet illustrates a newer and perhaps more streamlined view of jazz fusion. The artists make every note count and are more concerned with song forms rather than rendering endless soloing jaunts. They impart a comprehensive vernacular and are obviously having some fun along the way.
Track Listing: Santa Barbara; Yeti; Distractions In Direction; Steady; Urban Tribes.
Personnel: Tarik Abouzied: drums; Art Brown: alto saxophone; Tim Carey: electric bass; Aaron Otheim: keyboard.
Year Released: 2012
| Record Label: Tables & Chairs
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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