First we had Jazz is Dead, an all-star jazz instrumental act that paid tribute to the music of the Grateful Dead, and now Jazz is Phsh, a revolving cast of musicians who give a clear jazz take to the songs of jam band legends Phish. Founded in 2015 by The Chase Brothers, Adam Chase and Matthew Chase, Jazz is Phish also features members of The Giant Country Horns , Snarky Puppy, Dave Matthews Band, Victor Wooten Band, Sun Ra Arketra, Strange Design, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and more. He Never Spoke a Word is their debut album, and contains twelve Phish favorites reinterpreted and reworked with a fun, quirky jazz flavor that also incorporates funk, rock, and of course jam band elements.
Kicking off with "Ghost", the band settles into a funky groove, Matthew Chase's tasty guitar licks saddling up next to beefy organ, loads of horns, and Kofi Burbridge's majestic flute. Those classy horns play an even bigger role on "Cars Trucks Buses", a real jazz-funk workout complete with some irresistible grooves from drummer Adam Chase & bassist Anthony Wellington. "Foam" is given royal treatment, bouncy, bubbly, and chock full of weaving guitar, keyboard, and horn arrangements, while "46 Days" sees funk and Caribbean elements collide for a wild ride. For "Dog Log", the group go all the way back to big band jazz, with the horns taking complete charge, while "Camel Walk" is all about upbeat funk mixed with jazz & rock, as pumping bass, nimble drums, wispy flute, soaring trumpet, and tight guitar licks dazzle throughout. Speaking of hot guitar playing, Chase sizzles on the groove laden closer "A Letter to Jimmy Page >Alumni Blues", a song also noteworthy for some killer horn and flute solos.
As each track here contains different line-ups, it's amazing just how much synergy the album has considering the wide cast of musicians involved. In the end, He Never Spoke a Word is a highly enjoyable album of Phish songs done up in ways you probably never thought you'd hear them, but the cool thing is you don't necessarily need to be a fan of the band to enjoy this album. In other words, jazz, funk, and prog lovers who've never a lick of Phish before will find plenty to sink their teeth into here.
- Cars Trucks Buses
- 46 Days
- Dog Log
- Lawn Boy
- Camel Walk
- Alumni Blues
- A Letter to Jimmy Page >Alumni Blues