Northern California’s oddball post-bop quartet has at it again with a funked-up foray into original sounds and retro fun. Why these guys haven’t been signed by a good-sized label yet is a mystery one could ponder for days, but it’s best to just cut to the chase, take the song titles with a grain of salt, and absorb hell out of the music.
The Sardonics’ sense of humor is immediately manifest on the opening track, which samples the sounds of orchestral warm-ups before launching off into the funk. Ross Hammond’s limber guitar underscores the light Latin beat of “Leroy’s Lemons.” Bassist Kerry Kashiwagi walks like a wild man through “Chim-Chim’s Blues” (well worth getting past the goofy monkey-hoot intro) and builds suspense on “You Tooka My Feesh.”
Things generally progress in like manner from there on, with the band getting off on the good foot time and again in the spirit of hard bop and Blue Note funk. In the very end saxman Aaron Thurman and Todd Temby drive off the cliff of free jazz, heading out in a cathartic blast of Aylerish glory. As always, highly recommended.