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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 was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.