For a self-produced album, this really is first class fusion. Bassist Andrew Vogt and his band would give Snarky Puppy a real run for their money. Further proof can be seen on YouTube with a video of Vogt's earlier ensemble Humble Organisms playing "Pearhofjax," a number included in this album.
Taking its cue from the likes of The Brecker Brothers, "Stevland" is an irresistible introduction to the The AV Club. The lightning fast ensemble passages on guitarist Anders Nordstrom's "Grill Sergeant" serve to remind the listener that these guys are good.
"Fat Tuesday" is a soul-infused funk-out which segues seamlessly into "Pearhofjax," a finger-snapping bluesy workout, with killer guitar licks from Nordstrom. "Thumbs Up" is a thirty second echoey collective improvisation immediately followed by "Shack Dog," Andrew Lawrence's keyboard introducing the main melody which is partnered by multiple themes, the vamps almost sounding George Duke-era Zappa-ish at times. The mood is lightened here by Corbin Andrick's puckish flute solo.
The second of Anders Nordstrom's compositions (all other numbers are penned by Vogt) is the vibrantly lyrical "Yam Of Lotus" and the album concludes with the foot-tapping "Godfather Pt. II" underpinned by Vogt's solid bass and Zack Marks's drums.
The AV Club album is imbued with consistently excellent talent both in terms of execution and compositions. So quite why Andrew Vogt and his band haven't yet been eagerly snapped up by a record company is mystifying since the music they produce is just brilliant.
Track Listing: Stevland; Grill Sergeant; Fat Tuesday; Pearhofjax; Thumbs Up; Shack
Dog; Yam Of Lotus; Godfather Pt. II.
Personnel: Andrew Vogt: electric bass; Anders Nordstrom: guitars; Corbin Andrick:
alto saxophone, flute; Sam Hudgens: tenor saxophone. Andrew Lawrence:
keyboards; Ryan Roberts: percussion, spoons, washboard; Zack Marks:
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.