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Album Review: JFJO’s ‘One Day in Brooklyn’

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

One Day in Brooklyn

Kinnara Records

September 1, 2009

By Michael Walsh

This new getup seems to be working like a charm. Ever since Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey made the lineup change gathering the likes of Chris Combs, Matt Hayes and Josh Raymer, the odyssey has been flying at new heights. Original founding member Brian Haas called it gradual, but the new sound is anything but that.

One Day in Brooklyn is another output of the group’s recent machine-like push through 2009. They already released one album for free and have been touring nonstop like madmen. They’ve even got a few gigs opening up for Mike Gordon of Phish.

This latest EP is both a debut of two new original compositions and another ode to their hometown inspirations. The twangy Tulsa, Oklahoma sound of Chris Combs’ lap steel makes for an eerie and recognizable addition to the methodical and energetic piano playing of veteran Haas.

The group’s six track offering pays tribute with unique renditions of The Beatles’ “Julia,” Thelonious Monk’s “Four In One” and Abdullah Ibrahim’s “Imam”. Haas also constructed a medley of two Rahsaan Roland Kirk compositions “A Laugh For Rory” and “Black & Crazy Blues”, which was dedicated to legendary jazz producer Joel Dorn.

JFJO breathes a new kind of soulful energy to each rendition and in a way only they can, puts their own touch on the classic tracks that nearly make it their own.

But perhaps the most exciting items on the track are the two impressive original recordings. “Drethoven”, which Haas describes as a combination of their two favorite composers, Dr. Dre and Beethoven, is an absolutely killer sounding feast that completely hooks onto your ears and steals you for all seven minutes.

The evolving Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey seems to be heading off to regions unknown with their fused blending of conventional jazz and avant-garde style. See this band live just once, and you’ll realize their limitless potential for exploring your mind.