The New York based acid/electronic jazz trio Big Tall Wish was formed in January, 2004 in New Orleans while guitarist Mike Barile and bassist Steve Armstrong were students in the University of New Orleans Jazz Program. The music was borne out of a desire to create a style that appealed to both musicians and non-musicians alike. Their mixture of hip-hop beats, electronics and jazz on Leverage produces a sound and style that reflects their concept of connecting to a younger generation of jazz-lovers, while still being serious and satisfying enough for seasoned musicians to play.
Barile and Armstrong did all the programming, arranging and composing, except for the last track, Ornette Coleman’s "Lonely Woman," which also has mass, modern appeal. Also added to the mix are New Orleans’ saxophonists Rex Gregory and Ed Peterson, vibraphonists James Westfall and Matt McClimon and drummer Evan Howard, who has become a permanent member of the band.
Slamming, percussive beats start off the disc on "Boomshakaboom," which features a lot of electronic vocal noise and a funky tenor saxophone groove. Next up is "Roller Derby Destruction Unit," which has more of a straight jazz-charged feel, with guitar, more sax and keys producing an interesting mix. "It’s a Circus" is a trancy escapade with flute and vibes giving it a light, airy edge.
"Riot Jazz (aka/Beezlebubblyboo)" starts off a bit hard-edged with a police radio vocal and sirens and flows into a ramped up march with a solid bass line carrying one sound to the next. This one features some stellar vibes, compliments of James Westfall, and ripping saxophone by Rex Gregory.
Track 8, "Talk to Me" has a laid back, R&B, summery, soul sound with easy-riding guitar and soft, steady bass. "Time to Go" gets to a point where the guitar, bass, and percussion together take a bit of a Latin detour before letting the vibes loose. The disc closes with a version of "Lonely Woman" that is sure to impress lovers of classic and modern music alike.This disc has a great feel to it. All of the elements from the electronic programming to the solo instrumentals to the fun and humor blend well and maintain a well-constructed, cohesive sound. Big Tall Wish has certainly succeeding in bringing a unique, creative vision to life.