January 24, 2011

Gowanus Reggae And Ska Society | G.R.A.S.S. On Fire

ARTIST:  Gowanus Reggae And Ska Society (G.R.A.S.S.)
TITLE:  G.R.A.S.S. On Fire
LABEL:  Mighty Gowanus
REVIEW:  I’ve long believed that jazz improvisations on top of a solid, cracking reggae rhythm section sounds great, but it’s just not something I hear often enough.  Now comes a new Brooklyn-based band dedicated to just that concept, playing the songs of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Catch A Fire.  Some of the tracks here are a little too sleepy and smooth for my taste.  But when the rhythm section gets up a righteous head of steam (as on tracks 1 and 9 and the latter part of track 7) and the soloists cut loose (especially trombonist Mark Miller throughout, and guest guitar-shredder Brad Shepik on 9), that’s when this album delivers everything I want out of a jazz-reggae fusion.  It’s nice to see a new generation of musicians working out this concept; I hope they stick with it because they’ve got a good thing going here.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    1    7    9

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