Post modern jazz with some bite. Tons of musical muscle on these bones! Dig in!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Tossing together a relatively new ensemble can be feast or famine and by the time you get to the studio you may realize you have just wasted about 40 large on a project destined to go no where. Blue Shift is different, a collective that has one foot firmly in the past but with both eyes staring straight ahead. The give and take all works off lyrical conversations with odd meters, changing dynamics and inspired improvisation performances from one of the more exciting new ensembles working the scene today.
"Cyclical" evolves through changing meter and lyrical conversations while "Big Sur" straddles the harmonic fence with deceptively subtle infusions of Latin and hints of a more progressive rock under current. "Blues For David Henry" is just that, an odd metered blues nasty showcasing the up and coming guitarist Trey Pollard. There are no weak links in this group as Steve Wilson and Rex Richardson are the front line horn section and the rhythm section of drummer Brian Jones, and bassist Randall Phar are as good as they get.
Post modern jazz just got the kick in the pants the genre needed. Solid, ambitious and wildly creative has Blue Shift as one of the better surprises of 2014.
Tracks: Tell, Tell Me Again; Red Shift; Cyclical; Seeing Star; The Benevolent One; Big Sur; Tomorrow's Destiny; Blues For David Henry.