Monday, February 17, 2014

On Impulse / On Impulse 2012

If only half the contemporary instrumental music in America sounded this good!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
As stated before, artistic references or comparisons are inherently unfair yet given the cold war isolationism practiced the handful of labels are even viable these days. So humor me, think something along the lines of the Yellow Jackets and Chick Corea's latest band get into bar fight...This is electric jazz fusion with a smoldering current of funk running just below the surface. I received this last year but thanks to health concerns getting in the way, I am a little late to the party on this one. This Dutch band is the brain child of pianist / composer Coen Molenaar.
 
On Impulse cuts a lyrical harmonic path as wide as it is deep. Genres, styles and traditional forms become blurred as the band methodically embraces a myriad of sounds and textures which create a single unified voice. This could be one of the new sounds for contemporary jazz here in the States were it not for an industry seemingly destined to die by their own hands. Bassist Frans Vollink is the soul pumpkin of the band while Coen delves deep into his harmonic trick bag only to come up with that ever elusive three dimensional sonic depth of field and colors you can hear. The remaining members of the ensemble cast are first rate working hand in glove with the synergy of a group having been together a decade or more.
 
"East Side Bridge" is classic fusion with a modern riff. "Loved You Before" runs more contemporary and with the retro sound from the Rhodes we find old school flipping new cool with ease. Closing out this most colorful release "Wristkiller" is a smoldering burner which highlights bassist Frans Vollink and his prolific talent as one of the better base players working the European theatre. On Impulse is a band with mad skills that could easily crash the U.S. market and oddly enough are releasing a new recording later this year!
(feat. Marc Guillermont, Nigel Hitchcock & Mike Miller)
 
Tracks: East Side Bridge; Unidentified Crawling Objects; Loved You Before; Round About Now; Amelia; Club Ellen; Summer Rain; Wristkiller.