These guys are good. I just saw their set at Jazzfest (New Orleans) and I have to say that I was impressed enough to see them again within the month. The collective, which is as large as 40 musicians (although touring with only 8-15), was in full force at the Ogden Theater performing to a sold out crowd. They performed many of their classic jams, like “What About Me?”, “Sleeper” and “Lingus”. “Shofukan” was the closer (per usual lately) and they came back out to perform a 25 minute encore with Adam Deitch sitting in on drums for the last number.
The band’s compositions are very creative and at times extremely complex; however, they are also filled with great grooves and motifs that are enjoyable to listen to. There are a host of different time signatures, syncopated riffs and tempo modulations. One of the most awesome things to watch is the band’s ability to hit different syncopated accents over the same repeating odd time signatures and/or odd number of measures. Obviously, someone has to count to pull this stuff off–but it’s even hard to do when just listening from the crowd! You can tell that everyone in the band was a star music student. I was continually amazed at the seamless connection between band leader Micheal League (on bass) and drummer Larnell Lewis. If you ever get a chance to go see these guys, do it!