Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - The Sameness Of Difference
Hyena Records
Modern Jazz
13 songs (53:26)
Release year: 2005
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Hyena Records
Reviewed by Misha
Archive review

A while ago, my musical preferences and geographical location temped this band’s promotion to invite me to their gig. Coincidently, it took place in a bar that I spend quite a few Mondays listening to innovating bands that generally have a lot more musical quality than audience. As usual, modern jazz was on the dish, no pepper or salt or garniture. Nonetheless, I was surprised at what the Jazzpower organisation had been able to get me this time, and after the show I bought this record.

This small ensemble consists of a bassist, drummer and pianist, focussing on structured improvising, which is done with cunning interaction.. It will be no surprise that the name Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is trying to say something about the music that this American band releases. Analogously to Homer’s work, the trio leaves the jazzy Ithaca to stray the musical oceans with a post-modern wind in its sails. The result is not a chronological story of different genres, but a creative blend or summary with the constant yearning to the distant Ithaca. The Sameness Of Difference would either be a judging note on the first method that most other post-modern acts use, a self-critical observation or perhaps a comment on how homogeneous this record remains, despite its incredible musical variety. What The Mars Volta achieve with Indie Rock, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey do to jazz. They interpret Dream-Pop and Post-Rock as well as IDM through the use the bassist’s many effects, just to name a few. Deconstructing musical boundaries, but keeping influences and roots in sight is to innovate, but in delicacy and natural environment. This is why the album never sounds forced, but also never raw, shocking or inaccessible. This gentle style sometimes works erroneously leading to overly light-hearted moments, especially in combination with some of the bass effects.

This is a highly enjoyable album, an uncompromised concentration of creative outbursts, but I still feel that when the light piano play go together with the wailing bass effects, the result gets too cheery. This is why darker songs like Slow Breath, Silent Mind worked better for me than the Jimi Hendrix tribute Have You Ever Been To Electric Ladyland. It’s just a small and definitely personal stain on the carpet, and no reason not to get this album.

Killing Songs :
Slow Breath, Silent Mind.
Misha quoted 70 / 100
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