Wednesday, August 06, 2008 sez:

The Industrial Jazz Group (IJG) is a group based in Los Angeles with a taste for the very, very atypical. A critic once described the free jazz group as “cerebral, swinging, challengingly complex and unabashedly fun.” Leef, the group’s latest and mostly live production, pretty much embodies that description with some exceptions. One should be cautioned that there is some racy language that some may find objectionable and could even see as distracting from the bottom line here.

Without a doubt, IJG is having a ton of fun with this production. Having never heard any of their previous releases--and they’ve been on the scene for eight years so far--I was both amused and taken aback by the humor and boldness. One can say that this project brings with it some adventurous, tongue-in-cheek, and sometimes oddly phrased presentations that, like them or not, will keep you listening, if for no more reason than curiosity.

There is a brand of professionalism and competence here that one has to appreciate, even if you frown upon some of the unusual arrangements. Leader and pianist Andrew Durkin characterizes his unique creation as “avant garde party music.” That pretty much nails it or, at least, brings the music as close to an accurate classification as you can hope to get. So, listen to tunes like “Ladies and Gentlemen,” “Bongo Non Troppo,” and “The Job Song,” laugh, marvel, and just let it all entertain you. If you like your jazz free, atypical, and more than a little imposing, Leef might be a trip you can take. Just be sure to buckle up.

Nice! Danke, Ronald Jackson.

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