review by Lauren Lagowski
The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey made a stop at the base of the Rockies in Denver, CO on October 14. We were honored to have them for two nights and four sets at Dazzle Jazz, the venue of their last live release Millions: Live in Denver.
It was a seated show at Dazzle jazz except for the eccentric JFJO fanatics grooving in the corner. The audience watched intently and quietly which was refreshing. The band opened with a song off their new album, Worker, titled “Bounce”. This was our first taste of Brian Haas’ wild yet refined playing on a beautiful baby grand piano featuring melodica solos. We were treated to many premiers of songs off of Worker such as “New Bird”, a heavy but dreamy song featuring the unique guitar stylings of Chris Combs. My favorite song on the night and also a new song was “Let Yourself Out”, which really showcased the trio’s chemistry and versatility. This was one of the few songs Combs played the lap steel on and it was beautifully placed. They soared so energetically through much more new material with a few old classics from the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey lineage of players and improvisational music. They really proved that their are the perfect trio, allowing the guitarist and keys player appropriate leads while somehow managing to improvise in a jazz style through what seemed to be quite emotional songs.
The band made themselves available at the merchandise table at the end of the show chatting with fans, old and new alike with the promise of returning to a beloved city of theirs. We were able to meet with them and hear a couple first hand stories about the making of Worker which was really special.