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Jessica Jones Quartet: Nod

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There is a small, specialized subgenre of jazz that occurs when out-cats decide to come in from the cold and play it (relatively) straight for a tune or two. (Think Eric Dolphy exhausting “You Don’t Know What Love Is” on Last Date, or Albert Ayler croaking “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”) The fun comes from the tension created by turmoil under voluntary temporary restraint.

Nod has some of that tension (and fun). Jessica Jones and her husband, Tony Jones, are perhaps the only avant-garde, tenor-sax playing man-and-wife tandem in jazz. Their 15-year track record revolves around experimental composition, freer forms and collective improvisation. But the Joneses planned Nod as “a tribute to the jazz guys (and gals) in the lineage.” The result is an approachable, intriguing album, full of surprise and positive energy.

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