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Walking With Giants


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Audio CD, August 17, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Featuring Brian Haas on piano, Reed Mathis on bass, and Jason Smart on drums, the band serves to create one distinct voice that speaks in a profound compositional and improvisational language. The album includes 13 tracks with a free bonus DVD!

1. Daily Wheatgrass Shots
2. Nibbles
3. Skeeball Over The Ocean
4. The Arrival
5. Walking With Giants
6. Lola And Alice
7. Muppet Babies Get Lost At The State Fair
8. Sean's Song
9. Son Of Jah
10. Calm Before The Storm
11. As It Will Be
12. Perfect Wife's Flannel Pj's
13. Hover

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 17, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sin-Drome Records
  • ASIN: B0002NY8RG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,757 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
56%
4 star
22%
3 star
22%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
They are an incredibly talented band.
Amazon Customer
I read somewhere that these guys do over 250 live gigs a year.
Jan P. Dennis
Jason Smart is a really nasty drummer.
Andrew J. Mega

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Pawn on August 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Jacob Fred's new record is quite simply breathtaking! This is music that finds its way into your psyche. The compositions are intelligent and bold, but the explorations that occur within are what's truly at the heart of this acoustic-based record. These guys masterfully utilize harmonics, tonality and melody. I recommend this highly to anybody who's a fan of Medeski, Martin & Wood, EST, Brad Mehldau, Jason Moran & The Bad Plus. I'd also recommend it to those old line jazz fans (who are still open to new music) of Horace Tapscott, Cecil Taylor and Thelonious Monk. Finally, this is a cool CD if you're just looking for some good jazz to mellow out with at the end of the day.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on November 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
There's no Jacob or Fred, but it's jazzy, odd, and we're certainly at sea. Staking their claim as the most extroverted, if not loudest, working jazz piano trio, JFJO has released a remarkable disc. I read somewhere that these guys do over 250 live gigs a year. Well, lemme tell ya something: it's paid off. Big time.

Not only do these risk-taking, demonstrative musicians serve up a tasty gumbo of hard-swinging rockish post-bop, they also seem so absolutely locked into each other as to appear either psychic or demented. Or both. Yet with all the swirling, mind-boggling trick-rhythms, all the weird effects Reed Mathis achieves with his bass octave pedal (sounding like a cross between clarinet, fuzz-tone e-guitar, and electric viola), all Jason Smart's controlled-violence kit bashing, there's a melodic underpinning that situates the proceedings in very listener-friendly, if somewhat alien, territory.

Hipper than MMW, louder than The Bad Plus, wider-ranging than just about any other jazz piano trio, these guys have taken some giant steps to the forefront of modern jazz trio music. Check 'em out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Mega on July 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
JFJO is awesome. I'm a musician and I love the free-exchange of ideas through improvising. I can dig a very dissonant sound. If you find humor in totally over-the-top riffs, and you can dig dissonance, this album and a JFJO live performance will do some magic for you. The included DVD extra puts this disc into a "must-buy-if-I-like-jazz" category.

The best way I can describe it is it's deeply rooted in jazz, it throws modern genres into the mix, and has a supremely heavy emphasis on improvisation, allowing each member the total freedom to change direction and feel of any number at any moment. Don't expect pocket grooves; the music is very frantic and tangential. But it's totally rewarding, watching these guys totally succumb to the moment live is inspiring. They are monsters, changing tempos and bouncing new ideas around with great finesse. Jason Smart is a really nasty drummer. He's great at ghosting ideas on the drumkit from Haas or Mathis, and he plays with great versatility.

I recommend laying down while listening or, if you're feeling saucy and want to press some buttons, driving grandma home from a bridge game with it on. "This is crazy music!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Earsby on May 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I just bought "The Sameness of Difference" which is a great collection of songs, some an original take on Classic rock standards, and so I thought, I'll go buy the one that came out before it.

If you're into the Jazz side of Jacob Fred, this is an EXCELLENT place to start. The disc includes a bonus DVD of Jacob Fred playing at Yoshi's, and the CD is excellent quality Jazz. This is where Jazz is going. Jacob Fred have carved out an audience ranging from the Jam-band crowds to old Jazzers searching for a new voice for Jazz. We need more fresh blood in the Jazz arena.

This is an incredible value, if you enjoyed Sameness of Difference or if you want a good example of Jacob Fred, featuring Brian Haas on piano, Jacob Smart on Drums and Reed Mathis on bass and octave (higher) bass, then I suggest Walking With Giants is an excellent place to start, along with Sameness of Difference. This is a band that has continued to operate under the radar for about 10 years, and they have been playing live all this time, and now really have something to say.

Check 'em out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Cooper on December 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"Daily Wheatgrass Shots" kicks things off with a short jaunty Bad Plus-esque (The Bad Plus didn't invent Bad Plus-eque, but you get the idea) tune. That song is just a feint, the Jazz Odyssey is interested in a different sound. The CD gets to it's main point with "Nibbles", which has an angular rhythm and melody, and pitch-shifted acoustic bass. The Jazz Odyssey, true to its name, plays jazz, but it does so with a jam-band mentality. There's a fair amount of whimsy, psychedelia & showing off. Sometimes it sounds like they've lost track of what they're trying to do with a particular song. This may bother some more than others. My favorite songs are "Nibbles", "Muppet Babies", "Sean's Song", "Calm Before The Storm", and "Perfect Wife's Flannel PJ's". My CD also came with a DVD showing a few songs, not on the CD, live. I've watched it perhaps twice, it's difficult to devote two senses to a jazz DVD.
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