Lou Grassi's PoBand and John Tchicai: comPOsed (2002)
The title, comPOsed sets the paradigm for this outing. In the past, Grassi and associates worked thru pieces on the fly. Besides some notated structural components, this band generally delves into dynamically oriented improvisational frameworks. Here, Tchicai contributes six compositions.
One of the more notable aspects of this production resides within the group’s seamless melding of traditional New Orleans style jazz fundamentals into playfully organized abstractions. For example, “Daddy No Mana” features Perry Robinson’s hybrid, blues/Dixieland/free jazz work, although the band veers off the straight and narrow throughout. Whereas, Tchicai (bass clarinet) and Robinson render exploratory exchanges atop Grassi’s bubbly tom rolls on the complex arrangement of “Drunk & Happy.” Trombonist Art Baron’s raspy toned phraseology during “Stealing Beauty Pt. 2” establishes a multidimensional tone poem - marked by Grassi’s African based rhythmic patterns and odd-metered changes. The musicians pursue a celebratory vibe, marked by free-form interplay, conventional musings, and a bevy of cleverly enacted diversions. Nonetheless, the Poband have devised a cogently stylistic statement that looms as one of the most important modern jazz records of 2002. (Passionately recommended).
Track Listing: 1.Daddy No Mana 2.Yolo
Personnel: Lou Grassi: drums
Record Label: CIMP Records
Style: Modern Jazz