Todd Sickafoose's writing is just like his playing -- warm-hearted and propulsive, smart and subtle, extroverted and and conversational, patient and unerringly directional. I hear so much music out there right now that falls into one of two equally alienating camps: either it's joyless, torturedly complex, and inward-looking, or it's unremittingly, self-consciously "badass," with no room for the music to breathe or grow. Both are a chore to sit through.
So it was an incredible relief to hear Todd's band last night at the Tea Lounge. Todd's music earns its momentum honestly, as his ideas gradually evolve and adapt to a changing musical environment. Best of all, everyone in the band -- including Society co-conspirators John Ellis (tenor sax) and Alan Ferber (trombone), plus Brian Coogan (keyboards), Mike Gamble (guitar), Jenny Scheinman (violin), and Ben Perowsky (drums) -- seemed precisely attuned to the leader's wavelength.
This is a group that really knows how to ride the crests and shoot the curls, and together they make some of the most exciting new jazz I've heard in a while.
MP3: "Future Flora," Todd Sickafoose (click to listen, right/ctrl-click to download)
(MP3 courtesy Cryptogramophone/DL Media)
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