~Meniscus Archives~
Winter 2003
Issue #2

November - February 2004

Link to Issue #2 Home


Bynum's Corner Word Games

The Dissapperance of Childhood
Sarah Trachtenburgh

There's something about Crystal Boots
Drayton Patriota
Debate/Retort by Little Lamb
The Apothecary and Mr. Cesnek
Chrystie Hopkins
A Stroll Down Shakedown Street
Caleb Estabrooks
Out of the Box, Into my Hands
Derek Gumuchian
Travel Log of a Colorado Girl
Erin Hopkins
Santa Fe
Chrystie Hopkins
How to find your friends at IT!
Rob Hansen
Meniscus New Years Picks
Sound Tribe Sector 9: Focusing the Light
-Jon Heinrich
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Take a Trip with the Wild and Wooly Masters of the Jam-Jazz Scene
-Brian Gagné
CD Review:
Solar Igniter
CD Review:
Cadillac Jones-
Junk in the Trunk
Through Glass
and Grain

-Aiden FitzGerald
four poems
-Brandon Rigo
-Pete Pidgeon
Art Model
-Julia Magnusson
-Julia Magnusson
Dead dog
-Julia Magnusson
-Julia Magnusson
Those games
we'd play

-Julia Magnusson
Ode de Toiletté
-Aron Ralston
-Stephanie Laterza
-Stephanie Laterza
-Stephanie Laterza
Meniscus is...
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003

Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003

State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey:

Take a Trip
with the
Wild and Wooly Masters
of the Jam-Jazz Scene

Brian Gagné
Published 11/15/03

On their current tour, dubbed the “Magical Tour of Truth, Love, and Light”, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is taking their message of peace, beauty, and mind-bending jazz-jams to the people, coast to coast. With favorable reviews from publications including Keyboard Magazine, Downbeat, and High Times, the blessing of avant-jazz innovator Cecil Taylor, and two well received CD’s over the last two years, it is evident that the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is in the driver’s seat to continue pushing the limits of improvised groove.

In taking in a JFJO performance, one bears witness to unfettered musical improvisation steeped in sonic mayhem. Each band member is highly adept at using his musical instincts and rich timbral palette to move the music forward in undulating, unpredictable waves.

Keys player Brian Haas displays great competency in form and function. He adroitly navigates lilting passages on the piano, attacks fuzzy, jagged chordal riffs, and nimbly executes basslines. With his instruments of choice, which include the acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, and melodica, Haas can access tones ranging from quietly exotic to menacingly nasty.

Reed Mathis, bassist, utilizes effects to take his instrument from the bottom end of the mix up into the spotlight. He produces Hendrix-like tones to heighten some of his more intense soloing, but one also hears an affinity for swinging in his acoustic walking lines.

Additionally, both Mathis and Haas work extremely well with drummer Jason Smart to turn out some solid funk, anchoring the compositions and providing a groove for the dance-happy crowds that often populate JFJO’s performances.

Their two most recent releases, All is One and Telluride is Acoustic, display two sides of the same post-jazz coin that is JFJO.

All is One, recorded over two nights of performance at New York City’s Knitting Factory in 2002, is an excellent example of the plugged-in, fully electric, live Jacob Fred experience. They cavort in earnest playfullness through nine tracks of original compositions, with extensive improvisation pervading each excursion. Highlights include the driving "Grub Ridge Stomp", the drum ‘n’ bass flavored "Vernal Equinox", and the spicy groove of "Hunter Gatherer."

Telluride is Acoustic, also recorded in 2002, features Reed Mathis playing upright acoustic bass and a Rhodes-less Haas. The four-song playlist feels short, as the music is engaging. "Vernal Equinox," the second track of the recording, opens with Haas playing piano and melodica simultaneously to exotic and beautiful effect. The disc is a good musical example of how Jacob Fred thrives without the benefit of electric accoutrements.

In short, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is on the forefront of redefining the current landscape of the jam scene. With genre boundaries dissolving and new influences pervading the scene, Jacob Fred is staking their claim as current day avant-jazz ambassadors.

-Brian Gagné


Meniscus Magazine © 2003. All material is property of respective artists.