Today we've got a musical video journey courtesy of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, who will return to St. Louis for the first time in ten years this Thursday, March 31 to play at Cicero's.
Formed in the early 1990s in Tulsa, JFJO originally was a funk-influenced eight-piece outfit with horn players and MCs. By 1999, they had gotten down to a trio, later becoming a quartet and weathering more personnel changes, including the departure of bassist and founding member Reed Mathis in 2009. The current JFJO includes the band's lone remaining founding member Brian Haas on piano, Rhodes electric piano and melodica, Josh Raymer on drums, Chris Combs on lap steel guitar, and Jeff Harshbarger on acoustic bass.
Their music incorporates a variety of influences, from fusion, free improv and a bit of straight ahead jazz to classical, pop instrumentals, and programmatic film music. The addition of Harshbarger and Combs also has brought what critics have described as a pastoral or rustic aspect to their sound, comparable in some ways to recent Bill Frisell or the early Pat Metheny quartet with Lyle Mays.
These four clips show several sides of JFJO's musical personality, starting with the lyrical "The Sensation of Seeing Light," which they recorded as a special 7" single for Record Store Day 2010. This video was made at an in-store performances at Starship Records in Tulsa on Record Store Day in April, as were the two clips below, "Trampoline Phoenix" and "Hamby's Window."
All three songs were included on JFJO's 2010 release Stay Gold, as was "The Return," shown in the fourth clip, which was recorded in June 2010 at the B-10 Club of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA.