Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
10.14.01 | Berbati's Pan | Portland, OR

The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (JFJO) are a brilliant improvisational jazz trio from Oklahoma with Reed Mathis on soul shaking bass, Brian Haas on splattered beauty breath organ, and Richard Haas keeping everything in sync on the drums. JFJO is so un-mainstream they feel like the antithesis of television and can really move the soul in divine directions if you are so willing. I pictured the music critic from our local paper "The Oregonian" in the audience and was worried that he wasn’t enjoying himself, thinking he might comment that JFJO was a trainwreck of anti-music, but then I would look up and see Reed or Brian or Richard jammin’ so hard and free that I knew JFJO was something great!

JFJO is like Miles Davis from the early seventies, but with a fresh live twist. JFJO are like splatter art or at least as free, and together, as a Jackson Pollock painting! JFJO is Buster Keaton music, totally radical, yet somehow beautiful, and completely successful! I’m a moron when it comes to song names, but for a while during one song of this JFJO set I felt like I had become Reed Mathis’s bass guitar! It was an experience as close to nirvana as I have ever had! I licked my vibrating teeth and swung my head around with open ears in a few circles, and felt like angels, the firmament, earth, and Reed’s bass were the only things around for those moments! A yoga instructor used to tell our class that yoga could get you as high as any drug, I have always been a pessimist on this point, but after seeing JFJO, I am a believer!

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band did not disappoint in the least either. These guys are a bit more traditional New Orleans’s jazz/funk than JFJO, yet still have a depth and love of music. The Dirty Dozen is actually a seven piece; a Trombone, a singer/trumpet, a saxophone, a huge horn (of unknown type to me, although it appears to be some miracle funk horn that covers all the ranges), an electric guitar/singer, a Tuba, and a funky drummer. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band had all of Berbati’s shaking their booty this fall October evening, with an encore "When the Saints Come Marching In" to shut the place down!

Check out JFJO and the Dirty Dozen if you get the chance. Take care.

Gordon Wilson
JamBase Head
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 10/15/01]

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