Published Aug 29, 2014Rarely does a new release carry the weight of what was, and perhaps what can never be again. Yet there seems to be that underlying suggestion about Brad Gibson's Poontet, that the scene that brought its elements together is in decline. As listeners, are we to mourn what we may have never known, or to celebrate the glimpse that we are allowed? Named after a sex-themed Seattle performance space that brought the players together in 2011, Poontet is a six-song instrumental jazz EP worth checking out.
In an era of rapid-fire, oft-disposable releases, it's interesting that the EP was recorded sans-overdubs in a single 2012 session at the Seattle Drum School (where Gibson has also taught for the last ten years). With mixing and mastering not completed until this year, it acts as a historical snapshot of Northwest jazz greatness that leaves the listener wondering what else was/is on that camera roll. Gibson composed the entirety of the EP, with improvisational elements from players Ryan Burns and Mack Grout on keys, Scott Morning on trumpet, sax by Bryan Smith and Jason Gray of the Polyrhythmics on bass.
At its heart, Poontet is a clean contemporary jazz offering with injections of fusion and psychedelic traces. Standout tracks include the moody, slow-building "I Hope U Make It Dirty" and the time signature-shifting "Blue Topaz." And while scenes and seasons change, and moments can never be recreated, there is no use in mourning an incubation period. Rather than a culmination, Poontet feels much more like the start of something, and something worth listening to, at that. (Independent)