The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey from Tulsa, Oklahoma played Seattle's home team Saturday at The Rainbow. Who won? Well, the audience won. With ear to ear grins Skerik, Matt Chamberlain, and Brad Houser of Critters Buggin joined Brian Haas, opened the show in an ensemble called Jojo (named for Skerik's amp). Brain and Skerik fed off of each others intensity as well as the driving force from Chamberlain and Houser. The crowd loved it. Most of the crowd had never seen Fred and only the old heads new what lay in store.
Jacob Fred opened the show with "Thelonious Monk is My Grandmother." If Monk played like a boxer, then Brian Haas plays like a Jedi kung fu master. Not long into the set, Reed Mathis had his bass groaning primal noise with intricate subtleties. Fudd, the sound engineer said after "Daily Wheatgrass Shots Burned a Brand New Pathway to My Brain" (a crowd favorite), "These guys have been playing outside the main for so long that now they play upside down." Jessica Lurie (Living Daylights), alto sax in hand, joined the boys for an incredible omelet of "Three Splattered Eggs." The side of ham came next when Brian asked Uncle Skerik to jump up for a round of Critters. Joined by Jessica Lurie and Brad Houser on bass clarinet. Part way in Skerik heard a sound that spun him around to catch Matt Chamberlain beating his tom complimenting Richard Haas on the kit. It was Jacob Buggin Jazz Daylight on the stage at the Rainbow and it was an awesome sight!
Three years ago I left the humidity of Tulsa behind for the greener hills of Seattle. And since the first time I heard Skerik I wondered what it would be like to see him with Haas. Bird meet Trane. Hi, its nice to meet 'cha.
JamBase | Seattle
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The show at Seattle’s Rainbow on Saturday the 13th was in the top five of
the 50 or more Jacob Fred shows I have seen. Having never seen Critters
Buggin, I was excited to hear that Jojo was opening. Ten hours of chanting
could not have prepared me for the astral heights that would be achieved in
that room. The Jojo set started out with my spiritual teacher Brian Haas
sitting in. Usually HE is the loudest and freakiest guy on stage, but
the freaky rhythms of Matt Chamberlain and Brad Houser actually tamed the
frenzy (a bit) to quote Reed Mathis from Fred “I mean, anyone who can make
Brian hold back is putting out some serious energy. The Jojo set was so sick!” I concur with Reed on that one, it almost made me worry that the Fred couldn’t sustain the energy. Oh, me of little faith.
I had yet to hear Brian’s alien brother Richard as the sole drummer for
Fred, although I had heard him jam on percussion with previous incarnations
of the Fred (the 7, 5 and 3-piece versions) This show was the quintessential
Fred show, incorporating the good funk feel of earlier albums and the
soaring atmospheric alchemy of recent trio shows. The set was non-stop,
like a hurricane of terrifying joy. It culminated with Skerik and Jessica
Lurie in the freakiest sax duo swordfightsex I have ever seen. They got the whole room chanting A LOVE SUPREME...a fitting mantra from JFJO's biggest inspiration – John Coltrane.
I noticed Reed’s knuckles after the show and he was like, "Yeah, halfway
through our set two of my knuckles were dripping, no, POURING blood onto my strings, and somehow I managed to set a monitor on fire (it did go out, though)."
This was jazz that would make a Who concert look lame. But, then maybe the
Who could do that all by themselves.
AKA Father Inward
Poet, freak, platypus