Pluto Junkyard – Lucky 7s (CF 141)
This upbeat and nicely in-your-face and ears Chicago-based septet projects a thoroughly happening vibe. They flush out all the non-essentials, and get to matters rather expeditiously amid a buoyant group-centric mode of operations. Members of this band are frequent collaborators with cutting-edge Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark, as the ensemble conveys that hip and pulsating progressive-jazz aura amid treks into the free-zone.
With perky horns, crisp swing vamps and investigative group dialogues, the band abides by a get-up-and-go demeanor. They vary the flows amid an abundance of contrasts and textural maneuvers. At times, the hornists’ transmit notions of a little big band at work as the musicians’ scrappy interplay is prominently generated via muscular phrasings and spunky jazz-rock passages.
They integrate regimented, classical type charts with lyrically resplendent choruses and wily metrics. Vibist Jason Adasiewicz is a colorist and strong soloist who shades and complements the multifarious rhythmic components. Along with a few discordant meltdowns, the band renders brash choruses and a driving impetus, evidenced on the punishing piece titled “The Dan Hang.” Here, tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson goes for the proverbial jugular as the rhythm section kicks it into high-gear. Among other positive attributes, it’s one of the most exciting progressive-jazz outings I’ve heard all year.