558

Lucky 7's: Pluto Junkyard

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Lucky 7's: Pluto Junkyard The brainchild of trombonists Jeb Bishop and Jeff Albert, the Lucky 7's are a consummate example of post-Vandermark Chicago-based collectivism. Bishop's longstanding work with fellow artists such as Rob Mazurek, Ted Sirota and Ken Vandermark informs his inside-outside approach, lending a forward thinking but historically aware sensibility to this versatile mid-sized ensemble. A New Orleans native, Albert brings the weight of his hometown's history to play in this rousing septet, finding common ground between Big Easy swagger and Windy City muscle.

Joining Bishop and Albert on the brass heavy front line is the veteran performing duo of cornetist Josh Berman and tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson. Together with Bishop and Albert they form an engaging horn section, unfurling pointillist explorations one minute and rousing Second Line riffs the next. Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and former New Orleans residents bassist Matthew Golombisky and drummer Quin Kirchner comprise the swinging rhythm section, with Adasiewicz's scintillating accents amplifying the unit's unique tonality.

Pluto Junkyard is their sophomore effort, following their 2006 debut Farragut (Lakefront Digital). The majority of the pieces are written by Bishop or Albert, with one each from Jackson and Kirchner. Eschewing conventional AABA forms and head-solo-head structures, these episodic tunes feature an array of advanced compositional devices. Shifting tempos, fluctuating rhythms and unexpected bridges, turnarounds and codas yield a string of dynamic mood changes. Vibrant bouts of controlled collective improvisation and effusive unaccompanied horn cadenzas materialize repeatedly throughout the album, revealing conceptual parallels between Chicago-based, AACM-oriented free improvisation and New Orleans-styled polyphony.

Extrapolating the advancements of Post-War jazz with an infectious blend of contrapuntal invention and elastic freedom, many of the tunes invoke the seminal efforts of visionaries like Andrew Hill, Oliver Nelson and George Russell. The album's second half maintains this abstract yet accessible approach with a few stylistic detours, including "Future Dog (For Jaki)" which vacillates between collective freedom and funky Afro-Latin grooves, and Albert's introspective post-Katrina meditation "Afterwards." The coruscating power chords that fuel "The Dan Hang" feature Bishop tearing into his rarely played electric guitar, while "Sunny's Bounce" is a joyous, in-the-pocket ode to Sun Ra's early Delmark sides, closing the album on a high note.

Approaching classic New Orleans traditions from a modernist perspective, the Lucky 7's challenge preconceived notions about contemporary brass bands. An excellent offering from the fertile Chicago-New Orleans axis, Pluto Junkyard presents a compelling vision of the future, informed by the past.


Track Listing: #6; Pluto Junkyard; Ash; Cultural Baggage; Future Dog (For Jaki); Jaki's Walk; Afterwards; The Dan Hang; Sunny's Bounce.

Personnel: Jeb Bishop: trombone, guitar (8); Jeff Albert: trombone, bass trombone; Josh Berman: cornet; Keefe Jackson: tenor saxophone; Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone; Matthew Golombisky: double bass, electric bass (8); Quin Kirchner: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Texas Times" CD/LP/Track Review Texas Times
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Twin Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Twin Talk
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Rumbler" CD/LP/Track Review Rumbler
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Blood
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!