Graham Reid | | <1 min read
This US jazz trio comes with formidable advance notices: Rolling Stone (not exactly a jazz journal) described their music as "action packed and totally schizophrenic -- in a good way".
I don't hear it quite that way.
They certainly pound up a storm sometimes (the thundering repeated piano chords and percussion in the nine minute Physical Cities here) but can also craft music of great delicacy and refinement (the album opens with a romantic treatment of Everybody Wants to Rule The World and later Bowie's Life on Mars? emerges from a long and digressive intro only to be quickly deconstructed with sledgehammer subtlety.
They draw from many sources (This Guy's In Love With You and heavy-metal Rush's Tom Sawyer also get Bad Plus' deft and angular treatment) but their most powerful material are the originals such as Mint which stalks somewhere between a minuet and Cecil Taylor, if you can imagine that.
And it swings.
Physical Cities will probably drive you up the wall (ideal neighbour-baiting music should you need it) but everywhere else here there is incendiary musicianship put into the service of sometimes demanding but rewarding material.