Friday, March 14, 2003

March 14, 2003

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
The Deli
Normal, Oklahoma

Set I:

Three Splattered Eggs^
Nibbles the Squirrel
Son of Jah
Fourth Aye
Jah Smart Drum Solo
Calm Before the Storm

Set II:

The Slip*
Slow Breath, Silent Mind
Johnny B. Goode
Thelonious Monk Is My Grandmother

* Richard Haas on drums
** with Scott Howard
^ with Vernal Equinox themes/jam
download here:
2002 had ended with a year of JFJO being on the road for over 200 days, it was quite the adventure for those of us who were able to witness the new era of JFJO with Jah Smart in tow.

By early 2003 Jason Smart was deeply integrated into the grain of JFJO as evidenced by his musical contributions up to that point. The band had found a new life with Jason on board and were forging ahead, pushing the boundaries of jazz further and further. These three young musicians were creating the music they were born to play with wreckless abandon, taking jazz forward into new dimensions that had not yet been discovered. As people today discover the jazz greats of Miles Davis, Monk and others, in 30 years they will be doing the same with JFJO.

Indeed this was jazz at it's finest. On any given night even the band didn't know where things might go. Seeing JFJO live during this period I remember many times closing my eyes and, knowing the feelings I was experiencing in my head were the same vibes one would of experienced in a dark harlem jazz club in the 40's with the likes of Monk, Coltrane, Dizzy, Parker and many others live on stage. This was jazz, in the moment, being co-created before our very eyes by the magical conduit of band and audience. This was the framework of jazz being rewritten, expanded, refocused. To those of us who were lucky enough to see JFJO during this era I need say no more.

Jan 2003 JFO took a small break from the road while Brian Hass went on a short tour with Dave Watts (Motet). JFJO kicked off their 2003 tour with a short jaunt through the south, then headed off to the west coast. At the time I was living in Dallas, Texas and, JFJO had skipped over the area. Since JFJO is based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma we were hopeful that we would see some dates closer to home after their return to the west coast.

Our hopes were answered when an announcement came in mid February that JFJO would play 2 dates in Oklahoma. These would end up being the only dates in the Oklahoma/Arkansas/Texas region before JFJO headed up through Chicago on to the east coast to start their now famous extended residency at the NYC Mercury Lounge.

Those 2 JFJO shows ended up being in my memory, hands down the best shows I ever witness of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.

The shows were to be at The Deli in Norman, OK on 03-14-2003 and at Trainhoppers in Oklahoma City the following night on 03-15-2003. I remember walking up to the venue, getting there early to setup my rig and running into Brian and Reed as they had just finished setting up their gear and were heading out for some dinner. We exchanged some brief greetings and, before departing ways Brian told the door man to comp my cover for the evening. I also remember Reed asking me if I was going to release these tapes I was going to be making, well Reed, I can finally earn my free comp that night and, make good when I told you yes that evening.

This is far from the best JFJO recording I ever made, the Deli is a small concrete bar so reverb is abound however, I am happy with the result, if someone else would like to try their hand at mastering this particular show let me know and I'll be happy to provide you with a copy of the waveforms.

As usual Norman shows were a homecoming of sorts for the band as they had many friends and family living in the area. This night was no exception! I could go into more details of the content included here however I rather allow you to let the music speak for itself.

Enjoy this little rare, uncirculated (Until now) raw, brain bleeding gem of JFJO from what is now a bygone era.


Marcus Patman
Portland, Oregon

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