Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bann Quartet Debuts with "As You Like"

BANN stands for the first initials of the last names of the four members of this heavy-duty quartet: Seamus Blake (tenor), Jay Anderson (bass), Oz Noy (electric guitar), and Adam Nussbaum (drums). As You Like (Jazzeyes 010) announces their presence with some molto kick-tail artistry.

Seamus Blake is a tenor of great magnitude. If you don't already know his work, this is a good place to start. He's a prime exponent of the modern post-Trane tenor. Jay Anderson and Adam Nussbaum are ideal rhythm-team mates. They give the swing and rock grooves a real kick start. And Mr. Anderson's note choice is superb. Electric guitarist Oz Noy is so good I am almost speechless. Guitarists beware; here's somebody coming in from the wings that is fully formed (as from the head of Medusa as the saying goes). He's so good I'm wondering if it isn't John Scofield under a pseudonym? Well if I am wrong I am going to irritate Oz; if I am right I am running the risk of blowing Sco's cover. At any rate on slide, with the pick, whatever he is doing is powerful, soulful, and filled with excellent ideas.

The tunes are a excellent mix of reworked standards ("All the Things You Are" is given a most unusual arrangement), a rock classic (David Crosby's "Guinnevere," which will make you say "gee, that's a great tune to do this way"), Monk's "Played Twice," Joe Henderson's "Isotope" and a good helping of originals that give the band a chance to get into some fine solos and might have you whistling along after a few plays.

In short this is terrific, electrically charged modern jazz. Don't stop there Bann, do more! Hear As You Like and you'll no doubt be wanting more too. A long life to them, collectively and singly!

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