Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – One Day in Brooklyn – Brian Haas, piano (quartet with Chris Combs, lap steel guitar) – Kinnara Records

by | Jan 8, 2010 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – One Day in Brooklyn – Brian Haas, piano (quartet with Chris Combs, lap steel guitar) – Kinnara Records, 35.2 *****:

This is a quartet with an approach that is head and shoulders above most new jazz groups. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, they had their 15th anniversary celebration last year, and having added Combs on steel guitar have developed a highly individual sound that still swings. (Sorry I don’t have more performer details but there was no information with the advance CD-R.) Their improvisations are based on the groundwork of such giants as Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington.

The band’s work on these six tracks demonstrates almost telepathic improvisation skills on the part of all present. Roland Kirk’s A Laugh for Rory starts things off with a clever somewhat-familiar melody taken into new areas with the medley with Black & Crazy Blues. The band’s version of the Beatles’ Julia is the most successful jazz version of this Beatles’ masterpiece I’ve ever heard. And Monk’s Four In One ends up sounding less angular but just as swinging.  Recorded in Brooklyn, all six tracks are first takes and recorded without any overdubs. This is a quartet on the cutting edge of accessible modern jazz today.

TrackList:
A Laugh for Rory/ Black & Crazy Blues; Country Girl; Julia; Imam; Drethoven; Four in One

– John Henry

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