Darrell Katz

Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks
(JCA Records)

The unusual instrumentation of this album—four saxophones, violin, marimba and voice—takes the listener into rarely explored musical territories, expanding the sonic landscapes almost beyond recognition. The resulting combination of sound transforms the original timbres of the instruments, generating new vistas in every piece.

Listening to “Tell Time” reminds the listener of how impactful the violin voice can be on a jazz track, while the fun, scampering “Squirrels” and quirky “Gerbils” reveal the breadth of compositional imagination at work.

This is a record from which you can select tracks that either fit your current disposition or can put you into a specific mood, depending how you utilize it. But the best is saved for last: “The Red Blues/Red Blue,” with the full JCA Orchestra, is a smoky avant-garde lounge-jazz piece with honeyed vocals and a shock of drums, a welcome addition after an album largely absent of percussion instruments.

Bandleader Darrell Katz has made a name as an imaginative and innovative composer, and this collection can only increase his reputation, such is his ability to create so many atmospheres and textures over the space of one record. This is not an easy album to approach, and its rewards are given only to the listener who searches for them, but they are certainly there to be discovered. DB