Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's New One

Jacob Fred's Jazz Odyssey quartet has been around. They've notched a fair number of releases. Leader-pianist Brian Haas and steel guitarist Chris Combs make this a distinctive unit. But playing what? On the latest, Staying Gold (Royal Potato Family), there is some interesting and quite memorably melodic instrumental music. It is well constructed. It is musical. But is it jazz? No, but it is one of their best efforts.

The question is whether anyone should care. My gut instinct tells me this is not jazz per se. Jazz-rock tinged instrumental, yes. Do you care? Should you? I think probably not This is arranged music and it is distinctive music. It is not big on improvisation. Live, one never knows what's coming next. Stay Gold though is a unified musical package. I find this a very enjoyable listen. If you file it under "whatever," it will fit in there just fine and be one of the more important additions to your "whatever" holdings. That I think is a safe bet.

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