454

Keefe Jackson's Project Project: Just Like This

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Keefe Jackson's Project Project: Just Like This Like an elephant dressed in a tuxedo, its hulk swaying to the tempo of some infectious beat; so too is the audacity and undeniable presence of Just Like This by Keefe Jackson's Project Project. The liner notes refer to the twelve-player ensemble as a circus. And rightly so, for it's a bodacious, colorful sound spectacle, led by saxophonist Keefe Jackson.

Jackson is one of many young rising stars in the ever-thriving Chicago music scene, which is home to a host of luminaries including Kahil El'Zabar, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek and Nicole Mitchell. His associations with quite a few groups and his previous recording, Ready Everyday (Delmark, 2007), are establishing him as a fearless innovator.

Now with a large ensemble, his music is even more vivid, captivating and outlandish. The spirit of Chicago's avant-garde (AACM), Charles Mingus, Albert Ayler, and others run through Jackon's six original pieces, with bright ideas flowing through their veins.

The eleven-minute "Dragon Fly sets out with quarrelling trombones, then moves from Duke Ellington grace to a heated pulsation of swing, with fabulous trumpet/bass clarinet solos and massive horn arranging. The quick changes between melody and on-spot improvisation are exhilarating, at times chaotic or concise. "The Grass is Greener takes center stage with animated horns—guttural slurs, moans, and helicopter-like noises as the musicians interact, reaching a deafening peak then peaceful climax.

Tension and release, drama or humor, are in full display as the sounds of brass and wood show an array of personalities. Though Jackson's the ring leader, these wild horns are kept in check by the superb rhythm section of bassist Anton Hatwich and drummer Frank Rosaly, keeping perfect time and providing their own solos.

Waves of sound and isolated moments of a single voice all have their place on pieces like "Titled and the controlled chaos of "Which Well. The show ends with the very hip "Wind-Up Toy, shifting from a funky motif to toe-tapping, finger-snapping swing and punctuated solos.

Just Like This is an awe-inspiring document of music for those who enjoy their sounds large and their music progressive. This elephant is a sight to behold, and thankfully comes without the smell.

Track Listing: Dragon Fly; Grass Is Greener; Titled; Just Like This; Which Well; Wind-Up Toy.

Personnel: Keefe Jackson: tenor sax, bass clarinet, composer; Josh Berman: cornet; Jaimie Branch: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Nick Broste: trombone; Marc Unternahrer: tuba; James Falzone: clarinet; Guillermo Gregorio: alto sax, clarinet; Dave Rempis: alto and baritone sax; Jason Stein: bass clarinet; Anton Hatwich: bass; Frank Rosaly: drums.

Title: Just Like This | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Delmark Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Unlimited" CD/LP/Track Review Unlimited
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Find Your Wings" CD/LP/Track Review Find Your Wings
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Nessuno" CD/LP/Track Review Nessuno
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 6, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.