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 love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.