Dry Humping the American Dream

Jazz wants to be free, and it's taking every other genre with it. Ornette Coleman broke most constraints that bound jazz to a structure, freeing the music to go anywhere it pleases. Miles Davis brought rock into the fold and created fusion. Now, jump ahead thirty years, and you get Gutbucket. Along with bands such as Garage à Trois (featuring Charlie Hunter) and Garaj Mahal, Gutbucket mashes free jazz, jam band rock, funk, heavy metal, and more into a fusion for the 21st century. It's like Ornette jamming with Iron Maiden and Sonic Youth.

The title track provides a great overview: Guitarist Ty Citerman's James Brown funk gives way to drummer Paul Chuffo's Latin rhythms, which steadily devolves as Eric Rockwin's bass evoking the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Not to be out-noised, saxophonist Ken Thomson screams through his horn as if someone is murdering him in an extremely painful manner. Then the entire band breaks into 1950s R&B.

"Dance of the Demented Pigeon" staggers along on an uneven melody that wobbles this way and that before resolving to a cool and catchy chorus. "O.J. Bin Laden," on the other hand, has a mesmerizing, throbbing rhythm that builds as the song develops. It's not all about noise, though. The serene dissonance of "Another World Is Possible" shows that these guys can play Beauty as well as Beast. Of course, that's not nearly as much fun.


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