Like mescal, experimental jazz is an acquired taste. It often ranges across tempos and rhythms and melodies into just pure, sometimes random, sounds. You have to pay careful attention to understand the underlying cooperation among the band members, the references to other music and songs, and the cinematic art that the band is drawing in front of your ears.
It took one of Mexico’s best experimental jazz groups, D/zazter to educate me. The trio with my friend Juan Casteñon, Itzam Cano, and Gabriel Lauber, makes the music flow and jerk, and come together and separate, melding disparate parts into a sometimes smooth, sometimes jagged whole.
The new album, D/zazter Trio from Dimensional Recordings flashes with Casteñon’s guitar riffs while Lauber’s drumming propels songs like “La Cosa in Se” in a manic sonic adventure . But then it slows down so you can enjoy the scenery in “Identity-Entity and Flux” and “No. 4”, before it falls into a swirling vortex of static, dissonance, and tortured guitar strings in “That’s What It’s Made For.” “Ignition” and “Deviation-Conclusion” move into guitar-led, introspective, but still experimental jazz, leaving you energized, thoughtful and ready for more.
D/zaster Trio is a superb accomplishment by three accomplished artists whose skill and musical sense is so well tuned-in together that they can range from the music like an out of control subway ride at Universal Theme Park to smooth round guitar notes that move you along like a catboat with the wind at your back.
If you are a jazz fan – or even if you are not – this is one to add to your collection and a trio you want to follow.
D/zazter Trio by D/zazter Trio. From Dimensional Recordings
Available on Bandcamp