I love finding new artists, new sounds and hopefully some new ways of presenting these artists that for a great many people slip quietly under their musical radar. 40 Twenty and their self titled release is due to hit the streets on November 27, 2012. The unobtrusive cover art is some what misleading in regards to the updated riff on the Mad Men-era house band. Capturing the spirit of jazz club engagements from "back in the day" this amazing 4tet can shift meter on the fly and still swing in an incredibly accessible almost free jazz style that borders on a sonic assault to both the visceral and cerebral. One of the rare bands that is a critics worst nightmares in that they sidestep traditional labeling with ease and this is a beautiful thing. All the members here border on virtuoso status and they come together hand in glove on a left of center chamber jazz meets hard bop footing where the synergy is the key component of their musical success.
Opening with the syncopated pop of "Jan 20" this my friends is a tune you can not whistle, no discernible melody of any kind yet there is a lyrical progression that is a harmonic assault on the visceral and cerebral as the band takes the role of inch worm inside your brain and again this is a good thing! "Soon Enough" much like most of the tunes here features Jacob Garchik on trombone who reminds this critic of a young Jimmy Pankow who is still playing with the rock group Chicago on occasion in that even on a dialed down tune such as this, Garchik unlike a great many jazz trombonists will attack his horn with a fearlessness that knows no bounds. Drummer Vinnie Sperrazza adds tremendous nuances to fill out the sound and lyrical bassist David Ambrosio is as talented as they come. "MajorEe MinorEe" closes what may be more of an ep in a certain sense being that there are only six songs. Bassist Ambrosio whose keen rhythmic sense and love of Afro Cuban Bata drumming bring another layer of flavor and swing to this incredible recording. Pianist Jacob Sacks swings hard and his chameleon like way in which he adapts to the complex rhythmic changes is most impressive.
For a quartet, there is a tremendous amount of activity on 40Twenty. A band to keep an eye on and should your tastes venture to a more hard core approach to a melodically eclectic chamber jazz style then this could be exactly what you are looking for. 4 out of 5 Stars!
Tracks: Jan 20; Gi; Plainchant; Soon Enough; One Five; MajorEe Minor Ee.
Personnel: Jacob Garchik: trombone; Jacob Sacks: piano; David Ambrosio: bass; Vinnie Sperrazza: drums.