Personnel: Brian Haas: Acoustic Piano; Reed Mathis: bass, effects; Jason Smart: drums
The Sameness of Difference was produced by Joel Dorn and Kevin Calabro on the Hyena Records (www.hyenarecords.com) label. The past 13 years for the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (JFJO) have truly been a jazz odyssey, and during this time, the trio has not only grown personally, but as musicians; they are each maestros in their own right. JFJO’s sound is full, rich, innovative, and imaginative, and you would swear there is more than a trio performing.
With The Sameness of Difference, the trio covers arrangements from rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, and The Beatles, jazz greats Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus, and to show their diversity in style and interpretation, they have arrangements from Bjork and The Flaming Lips. In addition, they have laced in five originals to round out an eclectic release, which also reflects the title – The Sameness of Difference.
Taking on classics from some of the greatest names in music is in itself a giant step, but in the hands of JFJO, it creates a new masterpiece. The Charles Mingus classic “Fables of Faubus” was covered flawlessly, and held the respect to the original melody, tempo and direction. Jimi Hendix’s “Have You Ever Been To Electric Ladyland,” was the perfect track for bassist Reed Mathis to explore the reaches of post-modern jazz.
The original tracks display a different side of the trio, as they seem to open up and push each other to new heights. The track “The Maestro,” for example, has Jason Smart setting the direction with his drumming, and in “walks” Brain Haas on the piano who tries to set a different direction; the way that they play off each other for musical direction makes for a whimsical and endearing sound.
Rounding out this release is the live cover of The Beatles song, “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.” The trio takes this Beatles classic and imposes a lively jazz tempo arrangement which projects a different expression to the melody, and through their use of “effects” you would swear you can hear the phrase “Happiness is a warm gun” being sung.
The Sameness of Difference may also be found on iTunes, Emusic.com, DiscLogic.com and Amazon.com.
Note – Music Scene is not sponsored by any third party. All music that is written about in Music Scene are the views and experiences of the writer, and reflects a compilation of music, sent to us by musicians, producers, acquired during travel to unique destinations, recommended by our country host or a local resident, just happening upon a music event, searching out a Jazz club, or other live music venue.
© March 2006. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.