Koyo opens with a metronome groove, featuring speaker-shaking bass, wurlitzer splashes and unison trumpet/sax lines over a slapping, loose-jointed percussion, on "Their Song"... very modern-sounding, reminscent of the Marcus Miller/Miles Davis collaborations Tutu and Amandla. "Malmo-Lund" brings a more mainstream, up-tempo sound to the mix on an up-and-down-the-scale piano riff; and it's hard to take your ears off the drummer, Janne Robertson, with his propulsive shuffle that injects some organic juice into the band's otherwise tight sound. "Machine Man" takes the music into the mechanical realm, with the droning bass thrum behind the horns—an aptly-titled piece: on a blind listen I'd dubbed it "Android's Song." Then "Titanic" drifts into a more mainstream current.
And so goes the disc—a mix of modernistic and the mainstream, bringing Miles Davis from the mid-sixties into the eighties to mind a great deal.
My initial impression—this from a reviewer with an acoustic preference—was that Koyo sounded a bit sterile; the same initial impression I entertained on first hearing those Marcus Miller/Miles Davis records. But a few spins of the disc—an acclimation of sorts—revealed a quintet working a some tight grooves over sharp-edged arrangements backed by a superbly flexible drummer.
"Return of the Party Animal" cooks, brassily; and "Must", with bass/sax/trumpet/vibes closes the show on an intropective note that brought Henry Threadgill's Everybody's Mouth's a Book (Pi Records, '01) to mind.
A somewhat derivative but still pretty damned good set.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.