6

Insufficient Funs: Insufficient Funs

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Insufficient Funs: Insufficient Funs An original name, if not quite such an original concept. Saxophone and drum duets used to be as rare as the proverbial hen's teeth, with John Coltrane and Rashied Ali's 1960s collaboration always the benchmark. In recent years, however, this striking duo combination has seen something of a boom. Charles Lloyd and Billy Higgins; Dave Rempis and Frank Rosaly; Tatsuya Nakatani and Michel Doneda; Eliel Sherman Storey and Famoudou Don Moye; Joe McPhee and Chris Corsano; Neil Welch and Christopher Icasiano; Don Dietrich and Bengt Hallberg—all have left their particular mark on the format

Joining the club is Insufficient Funs, aka Sam Comerford and Matthew Jacobson, two of the preeminent figures in Dublin's jazz/improvised music scene. Insufficient Funs scored a notable success on the stage of 12 Points 2016, in San Sebastian and its eponymous EP further showcases the musician's first rate chops and the evident empathy at play.

Unusually, perhaps, Comerford's weapon of choice is the bass saxophone, an unwieldy instrument surely on the endangered species list. The range of the instrument is perhaps surprising, with Comerford moving from bowels-of-the-earth, basso profundo growls to lyricism more typical of a tenor saxophone. A little of both of these extremes color "Evilolive," whose memorably stonking riff bookends more subtle duo dialogue, complete with quirky percussive punctuations. Jacobson's rolling figures introduce "Sam's Haircut," where a flurry of brief exchanges develops into an expansive tête-à-tête where Comerford's melodic course is spurred by Jacobson's lightly dancing yet intricate grooves.

At times, so tightly bound are the musician's respective motivic patterns that it's difficult to discern who leads who—such is the case on "Eirik's Suite," which builds from Comerford's brooding, zombie reveille, via pattering brushes, towards free-improvisational terrain; Jacobson on sticks stirs up a storm, his animation contrasting with Comerford's sparer vocabulary, until the duo unites in an accelerated finale.

Honking riffs alternate with melodic motifs on the title track, the quieter passages in a tune of undulating intensity inviting greater rhythmic experimentation from Jacobson. The epitome of the contemporary jazz drummer, Jacobson's stylistic roots undoubtedly run deep, yet his openness to rhythmic possibilities infuses his playing with a compellingly urbane, playful edge. Upping the ante once more, the duo burns in a visceral passage where passion and control go hand in hand.

A ruminative, almost mournful quality characterises "Undone," a slowly serpentine, dark power ballad of strangely hypnotic allure. Just when it seems as if it might take off for unscripted territory the duo pulls in the reins, leaving the nagging sensation of tensions unresolved.

Insufficient Funs' groove-based debut, whilst satisfying, may fall short of reimagining the saxophone-drum duo as a concept, but there is enough meat on the bones musically speaking to suggest that they can take this project on to even greater heights. Sufficient funds permitting.

Track Listing: Evilolive; Sam’s Haircut; Eirik's Suite; Insufficient Funs; Undone.

Personnel: Sam Comerford: bass saxophone; Matthew Jacobson: drums.

Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review New Jazz Standards, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue" CD/LP/Track Review Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Chasing Pixies" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing Pixies
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "As The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review As The Wind
by John Eyles
Published: January 12, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!