Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hardcoretet Do It Live Table & Chairs 2012

Seattle has long been a thriving music hub from rock god pioneer Jimi Hendrix to the twenty something angst of the grunge artist whining about what it is like to be successful, you can always find great music coming out of the Pacific Northwest.

Harcortet is no exception!

This Seattle based instrumental 4tet performs original material pulling from jazz, rock, soul and various forms of improvisational music. Think a more open ended Tower of Power on steroids. Hardcoretet's second release Do It Live was recorded in late 2010 and while pushing the more experimental aspect of their craft the band is becoming tighter and far more focused as they take their next big step forward.
Do It Live features only five original compositions (5 total) which are recorded live with no cuts or edits which is most impressive when listening to the harmonic conversations going on between band members. Tarik Abouzied is as in the pocket as any modern drummer/composer  you may hear and bassist Tim Carey who contributes the opener Santa Barbara make for an as one rhythm section which is rounded out with Aaron Otheim on keyboards. Alto saxophonist Art Brown also contributes a tune to this live set entitled "Yeti."

Credibility is often or perhaps more accurately "sometimes" an issue with a new band attempting to crash the glass ceiling of the record business but not here. Harcoretet has shared the stage with and opened for acts including Mike Stern, Charlie Hunter, and Bill Frisell. The band has an energy level that is off the charts purely from a compositional sense. As a writer what I most appreciate is their ability to gracefully side step the self imposed limitations of normal "labeling" thus making the band some critics worst nightmare. A musical square peg not easily fitting in a round hole and this was confirmed when their debut release "Experiments In Vibe" was nominated for "mixed-genre album of the year" at the Lucid I/0 Awards in Seattle.

Hardcoretet is a name to remember and an ensemble to be out the lookout for. The real deal? In the somewhat watered down modern jazz genre as of late, Harcoretet is the best band to come along in years!  

Tracks: Santa Barbara; Yeti; Distractions In Direction; Steady; Urban Times.

Personnel: Tarik Abouzied: drums; Art Brown: alto sax; Tim Carey: electric bass; Aaron Otheim: drums.