Zebradonk ZD03

Live performance recordings from downtown Toronto’s Victory Cafe by the talented members of Zebradonk including Brodie West on alto sax, Shawn Abedin on drums, Tania Gill on piano and Alex Lukashevsky (Deep Dark United) on guitar. Straddling the line between pure improvised music and jazz, Zebradonk reinvigorates these genres to make unpredictable and exciting sounds. ZD03 is a sweet treat to listen to. This album is a more musical step than Zebradonk’s last recording, ZD02 which was mostly comedic spoken word routines with the occasional musical digression. This time the listener is afforded the chance to hear the considerable skill and creativity that makes up the band. West is a superb alto-player, often moody and whimsical and prone to unexpected bursts of dexterously torrential solos, a musical Jekyl and Hyde. Likewise, Abedin’s percussion is chaotic, yet inherent in the chaos is a masterful precise dexterity barely containing his exuberance. These two are very much musical sparring partners and the interplay between them is magic. Lukeshevsky and Gill are the more restrained and melodically focused members of the band, the saner "designated drivers” who keep the Zebradonk sound in-check, in a complementary way. Often when I despair about the current malaise of staleness in jazz music, it is bands like Zebradonk that shine a light of hope for the genre. This is jazz music, bred with improvisation and humour — but taken into a progressive direction. (Independent)