Keefe Jackson's Project Project Just Like This

Chicago’s creative music scene has produced another category defying document that must sit well with all involved. Led by tenor saxist/composer Keefe Jackson, Project Project is a marvellous meeting point for 12 of the Windy City’s creative improv leading lights. The CD’s opener, "Dragon Fly,” is a curious blend of Sun Ra squonk, George Russell-ish oblique lines and contained free bop blowing. Bass clarinetist Jason Stein plays hot and heavy, followed by equally strong cornetist Josh Berman. Boasting two superb trombonists (Jeb Bishop and Nick Broste), the feisty tuba of Marc Unternährer and Ken Vandermark’s familiar altoist Dave Rempis, Project Project can blow hot and heavy or cool and relaxed at the drop of a hat. The range the group are capable of is breathtaking and ensemble passages are beautifully intoned and crisply phrased. Jackson’s writing is engagingly structured with luxurious, cloudy chords, woody reed sections and glowing brass stabs. They are a band well worth checking out live. (Delmark)