Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Isobel




Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey


The Sameness of Difference (Hyena 9343)

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Brian Haas (piano), Reed Mathis (bass), Jason Smart (drums).

Composed by Bjork, Nellee Hooper, Marius du Vries and Sjon


Recorded: New York, June 20, 2005


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

From Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey are nothing if not eclectic. For 2005’s Joel Dorn-produced The Sameness of Difference, for instance, the piano trio (today a quartet, with strikingly different personnel) recorded compositions by a wide array of stylists: Mingus, Brubeck, Hendrix, Lennon/McCartney and… Bjork! “Isobel,” a haunting, string-enhanced thriller off of Bjork’s 1995 album Post, tells the tale of a hermit, but JFJO have a much more extroverted story to spin. On this excursion, electric bassist Reed Mathis states the melody (with more than a little help from some otherworldly effects) while the spastic acoustic pianist and stride enthusiast Brian Haas comps underneath, and the sensitive drummer Jason Smart propels the group into stellar regions. The sounds of Jacob Fred are wild, but always thoughtful, and the music of Bjork suits them well: like their Icelandic hero, these musicians are big risk-takers, and always evolving.

Reviewer: Brad Farberman

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