GUH We Are Sunburning

Given how unique Toronto compositional collective GUH is in the music world, it seems remarkable that the band itself has managed to gather in and nurture such a remarkable cast of talented players and composers. In fact on this, their third album (but fifth full CD, since their debut was, ridiculously, a triple), seven different members check in with compositions. Despite the presence of traditional jazz elements like trumpet and trombone, GUH is not a jazz band, although the opening tune by drummer Jesse Baird, “GUH Country” might better be titled “Miles Country,” since it lives in the electric world of Davis in the early ‘70s, as does Brian Cram’s “Brown and Out.” But like English weather, if you don’t like the sounds GUH makes, wait five minutes and they will change — from the stately ceremonial feel of drummer Blake Howard’s title track, to the mellower vibe of guitarist Jason Clarke’s “Patron Bentley.” They’ve got too much going on to be a straightforward New Orleans truck bed party band, but on “The Barnes Exhibit,” it seems that’s exactly what they’re going for. As they get older, GUH is completing their transformation from an eccentric oddity packing the stages of Toronto clubs into a national institution that will eventually take its place among the Kronos Quartet or the Art Ensemble of Chicago as great innovators misunderstood in their own time. (Unmanageable)