Local Licks 

This week, we review Patrick Cress' Telepathy, Sparky Grinstead, Neiro, and Blisses B.

Patrick Cress' Telepathy, Alive and Teething. A rare strain of wild free jazz given to bobbing heads and tapping toes — not to mention shapely songcraft. Many bass melodies seem culled from rock and funk, but the horns are pure jazz. Led by Cress (saxophones) and colored by Aaron Novik's bass clarinet (once put to use on an all-clarinet metal album), Telepathy's songs blur the line between comfortable and challenging. (Telepathic Music)

Sparky Grinstead, Winter Comes and Goes. Recorded in producer Eric Kampman's living room, this is a decidedly do-it-yourself release. Grinstead, aka Norman Famous, began home recording back in the late 1970s, issued a trio of full-lengths, then stopped — making Winter Comes and Goes his first in 26 years. As a collection of modest, introspective folk-pop tunes, it works just fine. (Sparlene Records)

Neiro, Sound of My Blood EP. Led by electric guitarist Tomoki Spilsbury, North Bay contemporary jazz trio Neiro features Kit Walker on Hammond B-3 and Paul van Wageninen on drums. Though not always front and center, Spilsbury's electric guitar is the spindle around which his compositions turn, characterized by circular phrasing and bold excursions that echo traditional Japanese melodies. (self-released)

Blisses B, You Should. This San Francisco act recommends itself to fans of Wilco, the state of South Carolina, and corn dogs and gummy worms. Regardless of whether lovers of the latter confections will take to Blisses B's sound, the band can't be far off: You Should is full of jubilant funk and folk festival fare that never bogs down in jam-band excess. Reluctant hippies take note. (self-released)


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