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Pushing the envelope

Lil Tae Rides Again
Lil Tae Rides Again
By Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Hyena Records: 2008

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This review first appeared in Turbula in April 2008.

Like the better-known The Bad Plus or Medeski Martin and Wood, the Tulsa-based Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey brings a strong rock sensibility to their jazz. But the JFJO, as its fans call it, is far more experimental than either of the above two bands – they're far closer to avant-gardists like Henry Threadgill or David Murray than they are to the Bad Plus or MM&W. Their latest album is one of their most out-there efforts yet. Full of noise effects, rhythmic noodling, repetitive loops, dissonance, atonality and other approaches not heard in more mainstream recordings, "Lil Tae Rides Again" is music for the adventurous. And yet, for all its weirdness, there is obviously a game plan at play here, a structure and cohesiveness that ties everything together. Anyone who digs the new and boundary-pushing is likely to dig what one of the most respected young experimental bands is doing today.