35 Days in May is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and arranger Jeff Kaye, who garners the assistance of trumpeter Jim Kiser, saxophonist Paul Carr and others. Nonetheless, the leader doesn’t opt for a status quo type of game plan. With the cartoon-like album title, Kaye’s synth-heavy and somewhat frenetic jazz-fusion processes combine elements of Weather Report with electro-house beats, jazzy choruses and more.
The leader fuses quirky, electronics-based motifs with fragmented sequences and programmatic rhythmic pulses, noticed for example on the Tangerine Dream-style piece titled "20 Blind 20." Here, Kaye morphs synth chord voicings atop a prominent bass line. Otherwise, he deconstructs the standard "There Is No Greater Love" with jazz piano phrasings and a few EFX drenched meltdowns. With that, he executes a sequence of lively dreamscapes, topped off with cascading acoustic-electric background treatments and abrupt deviations from a given theme.
Vocalist Alexe Colbus imparts alien vocal overlays on George and Ira Gershwin’s classic "It Ain’t Necessarily So," which is a cover version that sparks notions of a DJ remix. On this piece, Kaye once again delves into deconstruction mode via buzzing electronics sounds and sonorous electric-piano voicings. Ultimately, he keeps it rather short and sweet as the album clocks in at a hair under 40 minutes. In effect, Kaye merges a bit of schmaltz with solid musicianship and a seemingly endless flow of ideas that most assuredly conveys his undeniably active thought-processes.
In sum, it’s a concisely illustrated work of music that could have fallen victim to a sense of overkill, especially if he decided to stretch this into perhaps 60 or more minutes of CD space. And while a majority of these movements seem to bounce all over the place, often laced with a rather neurotic edge, Kaye does present more than just a few cleverly articulated propositions.