Thursday, January 8, 2015

Outhead, Take This Sound to the King

Life may not be like a box of chocolates lately, to refer to Mr. Gump, because we seem to know what we are getting, for good or ill. But it still applies to music. I get CDs in the mail often enough where I have no idea what it's going to be. Outhead's album Take This Sound to the King (Chahatatadra Music) serves as a good example. What was it? Putting it on I found it was something very good. Very modern jazz with a compositional base and a definite outside edge.

The credits list Alex Weiss on alto and tenor, Charlie Gurke on baritone, Rob Woodcock on acoustic bass and Dilton Westbrook on drums. Weiss and Gurke provide most of the compositions, with one by Westbrook. There is a skronky electric guitarist on a cut or two who sounds good, but he (or she) is not listed.

The music is very forward, rockish at times, contemporary like Morphine just a hair, but no, not entirely. The two-horn parts are intricate and weave well with rhythm-section routines. The band has a good thing going with Weiss and his hip solo style, both fleet and smart, with a full tone that doesn't sound like others so much. Gurke has a good sound and presence on baritone, too.

And the ensemble as a unit has real clout. It's new and hip sounding, with pulse and dash, and a certain "this is our music" and like it or not directness that appeals.

It's quite good. Different enough that you don't feel like you are repeating yourself when you put it on. Better than a box of chocolates! No doubt.

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