Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
One Day in Brooklyn (Royal Potato/Megaforce)
Two originals, Lennon/McCartney’s “Julia,” and one apiece from Monk, Kirk, and Ibrahim rub alongside each other amid a meditative, bottom-heavy groove and the constant ivory plinking of leader Brian Haas. Essentially a piano trio with a lap steel guitar added on top, this string section actually creates a spaced-out Eastern tinge rather than the rustic root that might be expected from a quartet of Oklahomans. Dynamically, there’s a whole lot going on: In turns quiet, haunting, and straight-up funked, everything mostly coalesces by the closing slink-strut of “Four in One.”
Of course, with the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey there is music-school vibe and classical chops to boot, but the boys still cut their teeth on the road opening for the likes of Phish’s Mike Gordon. This in fact allows them to double as the jazz-funk act for flunkies—surely fertile ground (just ask Medeski Martin & Wood) to trod.