The New York-based duo Talibam! – keyboards player Matt Mottel and drummer Kevin Shea – reinvents itself with every new releases. Often it is a part-time Dadaist, free jazz unit, sometimes a Fluxus-informed theater troupe, even an electronic ensemble inspired by German avantgarde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. Since Talibam! inception in 2003 and over two dozen releases the duo’s ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion.
«Hard Vibe» highlights Talibam! inherent, extensive proficiency and true love of jazz history and many vocabularies, especially Herbie Hancock’s seventies addictive electronic keyboards flights and Miles Davis’ funky-fusion adaption à la «On The Corner» from the same era. Talibam! is joined by tenor sax player Matt Nelson, known from the tenor saxophone quartet Battle Trance, and organ player Ron Stabinsky, who plays with Shea in the modern jazz group Mostly Other People Do the Killing, and in the groups of trumpeter Peter Evans.
True to its title, «Hard Vibe» force-fuses a hard-boiled chordal pattern from rhythm changes into an all-inclusive oasis of contextual bliss. Throughout the two parts, joyful grind of «Infinite Hard Vibe» there are endless games of quotes and references. You amy recognize the homages to the dramatic keyboards attack of Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Jan Hammer, alternating with the epic organ brutality of Larry Young; vintage, shameless-hedonistic synths out of Prince sex-crazed albums; Charlie Parker’s concrete melodic vision within the classic «Salt Peanuts»; nods to New York avantgarde minimalism of Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca and acrobatic sax solos that brings to mind Sonny Rollins’ endurance or Albert Ayler in his most gospel-ish moments.
My educated advice – relax, lay back, dive into the psychedelic cover of John Olson and surrender to this cosmic-psycho jazz groove. Then play it again and then again. Can guarantee you that your day will look much better, certainly brighter, afterwards.
Matt Nelson (ts, eff, tamb), Ron Stabinsky (Hammond C3 Organ), Matt Mottel (Rhodes, synth, eff), Kevin Shea (dr)