August 11, 2023

High Pulp is a jazz rock band from the US West Coast that delights in offering up experimental jazz that can roughly be described as cool jazz but this does not thoroughly cover their all-encompassing style that is an intriguing combination of fusion and dance groove vibes.

The new album follows on rapidly from 2022’s Pursuit Of Ends which showed an incredibly mature team of expert musicians who delight in pushing the limits of cool jazz in a quite delightful way. Days In The Desert continues their experimental journey that takes elements from the likes of Herbie Hancock and the imperious Weather Report to forge a new and distinct sound that could very easily set the standard for modern jazz.

High Pulp seems to be an ever-evolving vehicle with a core team of musicians that can and is expanded when the need arises with the main team comprising Antoine Martel on keyboards, Victory Nguyen on tenor saxophone, Andrew Morrill on alto saxophone, Bobby Granfelt on drums and percussion, Rob Homan on keyboards and Scott Rixon on bass. As with Pursuit Of Ends they have brought in a high-quality team of expert guests to embellish their expansive sound with James Brandon Lewis on tenor saxophone, Brandee Younger on harp, MonoNeon on bass, Jeff Parker, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Gehrig Uhles on guitar, Daedelus and Telemakus on synths and Isaac Poole on trombone. Together, they all combine to make a smooth and deliciously controlled jazz that satisfies on so many levels.

The album is full of moving, expressive and fluid sax to a thrilling background of syncopated rhythms with just the right amount of melody and experimental tones to make for a enthralling jazz record that you will return to again and again and is the logical progression from last year’s opus.

The history of jazz is full of true legends and there will never be another Kind Of Blue or Blue Train but the younger generation definitely has something to say and you could do much worse than have a listen to High Pulp just to see what the new kids on the block are offering up.

Days In The Desert

  1. Slaw (3:52)
  2. Dirtmouth (ft. James Brandon Lewis) (4:43)
  3. Solanin (ft. Brandee Younger) (3:55)
  4. Never In My Short Sweet Life (ft. MonoNeon) (3:50)
  5. Robert Pollard (1:54)
  6. Unified Dakotas (ft. Jeff Parker) (5:04)
  7. Fast Asleep (4:34)
  8. (If You Don’t Leave) The City Will Kill You (ft. Daedelus) (5:11)
  9. Fatigue (ft. Kurt Rosenwinkel & Telemakus) (3:21)
  10. Bad Infinity (4:45)