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Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Lil Tae Rides Again

Nobody ever accused Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey of being unadventurous. For their first studio tanning in three years, Tulsa-raised Brian Haas (keyboards, piano) and Reed Mathis (bass) brought in new drummer Josh Raymer and electronic producer Tae Meyulks to help JFJO forge and fuse an ambient-minimalist jazz not so unlike the relationship between U2 and studio manipulator Brian Eno. No, the moody melodies and neatly angled twists and rhythmic turns may not have the mirth or madness inspired by Sun Ra and Jimi Hendrix of JFJO yore’s lore. But it’s by no means wallpapery.

Instead there’s a somber-but-not-somnolent spookhouse atmosphere to the psychedelic loops of “Tether Ball Triumph” and the looming hoot of “Carpool.” The dub-infused echo and subtle melodica touches of “Scuffle in the Hallway” suggest a brawl between Ennio Morricone and Lee Scratch Perry, with neither man too bloody. But it’s the long-form freak-out of “Goodnight Ollie” that conjures some of JFJO’s psilocybin mien with its newfound subtlety.

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