"Husky," the new studio album from sax man Skerik and his Syncopated Taint Septet, takes a few listens for the traditional jazz fan to adjust to it, but quickly becomes compelling.
Skerik is becoming a mainstay on the modern jazz scene, having worked with the likes of Charlie Hunter, Ivan Neville, Stanton Moore and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, and he infuses many of the traits of those artists into the music he makes with his own band. The guys in the SST7 (the band's abbreviated moniker) remind one of Charles Mingus with their intense arrangements and emphasis on the woodwinds.
But they also rely predominantly on funk and hip-hop rhythms, a practice that is becoming more noticeable in jazz with each passing day. Hopefully it's not a passing fad, as music such as this is breathing fresh life into the genre, making modern jazz more vibrant, exciting and, quite frankly, more enjoyable.
- Dave Bond