This newly released effort gives a bit more credence to Southern California’s upbeat modern jazz scenario, where almost anything is likely to take place. Perhaps the nouveau West Coast slant parallels New York City’s infamous downtown scene. Otherwise, bassist Stuart Liebig and multifaceted harmonica performer Bill Barrett have been in the trenches for years via numerous jazz-related projects. Whether embarking upon electronics-based jazz improvisation, chamber-jazz, or jazz-fusion, Liebig adds another chapter to the imaginary book with this stirring, genre-hopping band.
The odd element resides within Barrett’s soloing and harmonizing with alto saxophonist Tony Atherton. Unconventional for sure, but it works rather seamlessly as the band’s gutsy, in-the-pocket based methodology packs a massive punch! Leibig’s nimble but forceful electric bass lines generate the pumping grooves amid drummer Joseph Beradi’s hammering backbeats. Essentially, the quartet fuses gritty blues-rock, surf-rock, and scorching modern jazz licks with various modal concepts. Ultimately, they kick matters into overdrive along with rebel rousing maneuvers while also implementing capacious passages. In other areas, the musicians delve into free-form dialogues, along with blitzing solo spots to complement a horde of punchy sax and harmonica choruses. Pleasantly in-your-face, this endeavor looms as an irrefutable standout for 2006. (Zealously recommended.... )