Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ross Martin, Max Johnson, Jeff Davis, Big Eyed Rabbit

Something different? I mean very unexpected? That would be Ross Martin (guitar), Max Johnson (bass) and Jeff Davis (drums) and their Big Eyed Rabbit (NotTwo). It takes traditional fiddle tunes as a starting point and proceeds to transmute them in a free-avant-electric alchemy into a new kind of gold.

There are originals as well as traditional ditties. You must listen closely for the fiddle-tune sub-basement foundation to emerge, but it is there intermittently.

Turns out Ross Martin's inventive guitar thrust, Max Johnson's double bass creative ingenuity and the always hip drumming of Jeff Davis combine for a potent threesome. They work nicely together but at the same time make individual, continually original improvisatory contributions throughout.

Martin has technique and a free-jazzy in-the-pocket flair of his own. It goes well with Max Johnson's out-front all-over bass sanity-madness, here with more of a folksy feel than is ordinary. That works just fine. And Jeff is doing exactly what he does well, stretching time and giving the music motion in a melodic way.

Max and Ross are artists to listen to these days. Jeff, too. This is a great place to hear all three in an inspired mood.

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