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Jazz Punks: Smashups

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On this irreverent but undeniably clever collection of mashup arrangements, the L.A.-based quintet brings its fearless alt-jazz sensibility to a commingling of Sonny Rollins’ “Oleo” and Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” an organic melding of the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and Paul Desmond’s “Take Five,” a marriage of Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” and the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” and a perfect fusion of “Body and Soul” and the John Coltrane classic “Naima.” There’s also an inspired merger of Miles Davis’ “No Blues” and the Who’s “I Can See for Miles,” a coupling of Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia” with Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop,” and a rendition of “Take the ‘A’ Train” infused with Radiohead. Bravo to subversives Sal Polcino (guitar), Danny Kastner (piano), Michael Polcino (bass), Robby Elfman (sax) and Hugh Elliott (drums)-collectively the Marx Brothers of jazz. With strong, often swinging performances throughout, Smashups plays like a less violent version of John McDonough’s Brilliant Coroners.

Originally Published