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One Day In Brooklyn

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Album Review

For this 35-minute CD/EP, the new version of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey wends through six tracks reflecting diverse influences, their Tulsa, OK roots, and the youth-oriented jam band stance that has held up well over two decades of playing progressive and contemporary jazz. Longtime bassist Reed Mathis has been replaced by the strictly acoustic Matt Hayes, Chris Combs joins in on lapsteel guitar, Jason Smart is out and Josh Raymer is in as the drummer. Founding member Brian Haas sticks exclusively to acoustic piano for this set of music that pays tribute to country & western-flavored jazz via compositions by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Thelonious Monk, and Abdullah Ibrahim, sidled with three originals from the band that also showcase these broad elements working together in concert with hard bop syncopations and heavier beats. Haas is just about as underrated as a modern jazz pianist can be, but capably proves his mettle time after time. His arrangement of the combo Kirk bill "The Black & Crazy Blues/A Laugh for Rory (For Joel Dorn)" pits pop-R&B yin against Southern twang yang, strutting to swinging with lots o' laptop from Combs, thoroughly entertaining and challenging. Monk's "Four in One" has Haas playing angular lines very effectively as you hear a playful Combs lagging behind in a truth-or-consequences mood. The curveball selection of Ibrahim's "Imam" is rocked and jammed out in a simplistic, far-from-South-African-spiritual-village melody. Of the originals, "Country Girl" has a natural down-home feeling, rambling or tripping in 6/8 time, urged on by the two-fisted piano of Haas, but downshifting, then pumped back up to rock proportions. "Drethoven" is clearly a pulse-driven hybrid of drama and style, emphasizing the caveat that JFJO did, in fact, precede the Bad Plus. Finally. there's the pretty and somewhat reserved "Julia," showing that Haas and his mates are quite fond of the tenderest moments. The new band sounds a quite bit different with the electric aspect removed and a roots-Americana aspect inserted. Fear not dear JFJO fan, for remember this is but one day in Brooklyn, yet another aspect to the fertile mind of the inventive Haas and his whirring, changeling mind. As it stands, this version of the group remains very, very good, with more new horizons to conquer. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

One Day in Brooklyn

According to my count, this must be either JFJO's 17th or 18th record !!!! The evolution continues on this one. One of my favorite records of 2009. I love the lap steel. Reminds me of home. Blows away other jazz bands and jazz records of 2009. The band sounds better than ever and the new members sound like they have been listening to JFJO since they were in middle school. According to a NPR interview i heard, they have been!!!! Congrats JFJO on continuing the jazz language into the next millenium.

Red Dirt Jazz

As expected, JFJO drops another unexpected album on us. This record sounds like no other on the jazz scene right now. It's a new formulation and method for The Fred: a quartet featuring new members on lap-steel guitar and double bass, and the results are some of the most sonically pleasing jazz you will hear this year.

The lap-steel guitar in particular has given a JFJO an exotic feel to their sound, even though this album focuses on more straight-ahead jazz. It sounds as though a Nashville lap-steel player showed up at the recording sessions instead of an electric guitar player, and they just went with it, and as you will hear, it's a very good thing they did.

They only bad thing about this album is its brevity. The original songs on here, Drethoven and Country Girl, are incredible works and subsequently the best songs on the record. The covers don't sound like covers at all, as the idiosyncratic sound of Brian Haas and his sidemen makes everything they play seem completely fresh.

Make sure to see these guys live to hear the songs on this album and others in completely new tempos and textures (they sometimes tour with a saxophone player and singer).

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Tulsa, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

When novices discover the experimental music of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, they are surprised to learn that there is no one named Jacob Fred — the group's name is meant to be clever and ironic. Novices also learn that the Tulsa, Oklahoma outfit's mildly avant-garde blend of jazz, rock, and funk draws on a wide variety of influences; JFJO have been influenced by everyone from electric Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix to Sun Ra, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Larry Young, and John Scofield. Often...
Full Bio
One Day In Brooklyn, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
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