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Ez Pour Spout: Don’t Shave the Feeling

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The influence of John Zorn and of self-satirizing rock groups such as Cake come through in this set of instrumental covers of fairly pedestrian pop and rock material. Included are versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” Isaac Hayes’ soul classic “Walk on By,” two Burt Bacharach songs, Kurt Cobain’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” Mike Post and Pete Carpenter’s theme from The A-Team as well as compositions by Jack Bruce and Frank Zappa.

Curtis Hasselbring, a talented jazz trombonist, also plays guitar on these sessions, utilizing electronics to subvert the sounds of both instruments. Alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss, sounding influenced by Zorn and Henry Threadgill, fills the role of occasionally caustic frontman. Keyboardist/guitarist Jamie Saft, bassist J.A. Granelli and drummer John Mettam are a solid rhythm team, but their heavy-rock playing needs work.

EZ Pour Spout’s lengthy, uncredited arrangements often make a jazz mountain out of a pop or rock molehill. Once you get the idea of their cute version of AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” for example, why keep listening to the same three chords being repeated over and over? EZ Pour Spout is a promising band that should consider taking its unique sound in a more concise and original direction.