Track Review / jazz.com
TRACK - "Route 666"
GROUP - Jentsch Group Large
CD - Cycles Suite (Fleur De Son Jazz FDSJ 57994)
RECORDED: Live at The Kitchen, NYC, February 11, 2008
The best instrumental music tells the listener a story. You might not pull in its entire meaning at first, but the initial presentation is cohesive, with nothing feeling out of place. What amazes me about this is that the piece of music can have many chaotic features, misdirections, and surprises and still have no trouble retaining a sense of purpose.
"Route 666" starts right off with a bit of misdirection – the fusion-drenched electric guitar sounding more like Alan Holdsworth meets Robert Fripp. My ears were thinking, "Where's the big band?" Well, just like that, the electric guitar morphs into a giant horn section and we're off into another space, like a musical version of a William S. Burroughs jump cut. These kinds of shifts (though maybe not so drastic) continue on for the next 18 minutes or so. It's a truly thrilling and textured ride that reminds me of the work of both Carla Bley and Frank Zappa. Best of all, it really does tell a story.
Reviewer: Mark Saleski