Fattlabb Live (Independent)

By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr

Louisville's own Fattlabb [I suppose we can soon quit saying "formerly Splatch"] has just released Fattlabb Live (RCSPL0073), recorded during a series of performances here in town at the Jazz Factory and at Gerstle's Place. Brothers Tony McDaniel (trumpet) and Pat McDaniel (bass), together with keyboard wizard Pete Petersen and drummer Sam Gray, start with a lengthy take on one of the best "post-comeback" Miles Davis jamming vehicles, "Jean-Pierre." After a spacey intro, all but Gray solo, with a concluding solo that sounds like a seriously twisted guitar, but obviously is not. "A Love Supreme," John Coltrane's spiritual masterpiece, is next. More specifically, Fattlabb tackles the opening movement, "Acknowledgment," in a style that is not as overtly "electric" as that on the Carlos Santana/John McLaughlin Love, Devotion and Surrender album, but is certainly in a fusion rather than a straightahead style.

A growling bass leads into Prince's "Sign o' the Times" which is followed by another Trane composition, "Equinox," transposed into a reggae rhythm. Two original compositions by Pat McDaniel, "Mr. Buttonz" and "Beware" keep the band in the electric jazz category, before the CD concludes with the modern standard by Herbie Hancock, "Maiden Voyage," the most straightahead piece here. By the way, hang onto this review if you want a songlist before purchasing this disc, because you won't find the tunes listed on the outside of the CD. Fattlabb Live provides 69 minutes of excellent fusion by one of Louisville's few jazz groups to venture outside the swing and bop/postbop styles. It should be available locally and can be found at www.cdbaby.com as well.