With cover art from the 'dangerously psychotic' school and a band photo that looks like the jazz-police arranged a parade of the guilty, Pimpoint, the latest from Soil & "Pimp" Sessions promises an emotional experience, and it delivers 100%.
This Tokyo-based outfit specialise in numbers that swerve deceptively from the familiar musical maps of classic 1950s hard bop into wilder, unexplored territory. Keeping a grip on conventional jazz styles, and following relatively unsurprising rhythms throughout, Josei takes control on most of the album's fourteen tracks, leading the team by means of his impressively skilled, inspired, rock solid piano playing, never allowing discipline to slip too far. That said however, there's enough freedom left in this jazz to satisfy the most demanding of purists when Motuharu cries through his sax or the wonderfully monickered Tabu Zombie squeezes another impossible run from his trumpet.
The band have a unique take on traditional bop, and re-focus progressions which are often seen either as clichés or classics in the West through their own occasionally funky lens. In doing so they compose completely new landscapes, with their revisiting of Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay" being only the most obvious example included here.
Slick, talented and perfectly turned out, S&"P"S manage to be both stylish masters of a retro sound and perfectly modern at the same time. The album's drop-deadly street attitude makes Pimpoint the perfect musical accompaniment to your next New York teenage hoodlum street rumble, maverick Chicago TV cop show or San Francisco muscle car chase. --Al Spicer
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