All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Keyboardist Josh Moshier and saxophonist Michael Lebrun, a pair of Chicago-based jazz artists born in the 1980s, delve deeply into the jazz world with Joy Not Jaded. On this fine, high-energy set, the pair and their band craft a modern-leaning sound that remains true to the post-bop tradition.
The set of all original materialfive tunes from Moshier's pen, six from Lebrun'sopens with Moshier's "King's Road," inspired by night drives on Los Angeles freeways (night being the only time any forward momentum can be achieved there). A repeated five-note piano riff introduces the sound that rolls into a smooth-flowing groove supporting Lebrun's round-tone tenor sax. "Avocado Soul," (go figure on the title) meanwhile, is a showcase of the band's ability with a beautifully reflective ballad.
A fellow Chicagoan, guitarist John Moulder, joins the core group on Lebrun's "Jambo" (the Swahili word for hello), shaping an ebullient, upbeat ensemble dance vibe that gives way to an introspective sax turn. "Eleven Toe Waggle" features the band at its funkiest, with Moshier's electric keyboard shifting from sparkling to grungy. Call it sparkling grunge.
"Known Unknowns" lightens the moods, on a lilting, lovely tune featuring, again, the clean, precise tone of John Moulder's guitar.
Joy Not Jaded, recorded in 2009, says that the so-called Millennial generation to which Moshier and Lebrun belong is here. The future of jazz is alive and well in this generation's hands.
Track Listing: King's Road; Jambo; Saturnine; The Second Handers; Eleven Toe Waggle; Avocado Soul; Finally Done Still Frustrated; Known Unknowns; Sleepwalking; Misfortunately Pleasant; Who Shall Excel Them.
Personnel: Mike Lebrun: tenor saxophone; Josh Moshier: piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer; Robert Meier: double-bass; Max Krucoff: drums; John Moulder: guitar (2-4, 8).
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...