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James Carter and Cyrus Chestnut: Hit the Pavement

The indie-rock explosion of the 1990s charmed a generation of college hipsters and even reached out to the mainstream, but it didn’t inspire too many jazz musicians. Indie vets Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth may like to play with jazz musicians, but you don’t hear jazz musicians playing their music. Yes, the Bad Plus and Brad Mehldau have looked to rock and pop for inspiration, but the often antivirtuosic nature of indie rock doesn’t usually give jazz musicians much to chew on.

High school pals David Elkins and Jake Cohn may not be jazz musicians, but they really wanted jazz musicians to play the music of Pavement, one of the bigger and more beloved college-rock bands of the last decade. Gold Sounds, the debut release on Cohn and Elkins’ new label, Brown Brothers, attempts the incongruous and fills a niche that may not exist. The CD features a handpicked group of well-known jazz mainstreamers assembled solely to play the mischievous rock music of Pavement.

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