Brace yourself for one unusual musical journey if you listen to Streams of Consciousness: Volume One, a new release from a Toronto-based quartet called Kush, that is lighting up the charts in Canada. The music is an interesting down-tempo moody and introspective sound that blends fusion and electronica jazz to produce a cross-genre sound. Kush combines a rhythm-based spontaneous groove with a heavy percussive beat that grabs your attention from the start.
We all know that improvisation is a defining characteristic of jazz; this album seems to accentuate this element in a positive way. As stated in the liner notes "...the music they play is created moment by moment..." The music has a nice rhythmic beat and flow with little or no major difference between the tracks. The style is so similar that on occasion it seems that the music does not really end but is a continuation from one track to the other. As a matter of fact all of the seven tracks are titled "Sweet 1 through Sweet 7." So much for originality. That aside, it is easy to see why the music is catching on as it is, once you hear it, you can't help but move to it as the steady beat carries the music to a soft cool and jazzy finish. The band has already been nominated in the category of Group of the Year for the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.
Kush is a quartet comprised of founder and renowned bassist Etric Lyons, who also plays the loop and sample on this CD, drummer and percussionist Robert Sibony, Eddie Bullen on keyboards and trumpeter Bryden Baird. Together the band succeeds in producing a unique sound and direction. Unfortunately, the liner notes of the album reveals little about the music or the musicians. The album was arranged and produced by bassist Lyons. For more information on the group go to www.kush-music.com.
The musicianship is first rate and it had to be given the heavy emphasis on the improvisational side. In summation I would say that the music was made for the mind and the soul. If you approach the album from this perspective, you'll find an enjoyable recording that takes you to a different world and dimension of jazz.