Completion of Proof is a roots oriented release, a pulsating hybrid of blues and swing drawn from an African-Caribbean "Big Easy" melting pot that allows this jazz gumbo to reduce down to a spicy and satisfying main course that is essentially absent in today's hard bop menu. A musical frame of reference could easily be made as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers or the music of Jackie McLean fast forwarded twenty five years later. Blakey and McClean's music, a more focused extension of a blues infused bop seems to have evolved into a sub-genre of its own with artists like The Curtis Brothers taking the baton and running with it.
The opening track "Protestor," inspired by the lone man that literally took on the entire Chinese army captures the bold rich horn laden sound reminiscent of the early days of the hard bop. Completion Of Proof was written to play to the strengths of the band and with Ralph Peterson Jr. driving this musical train. The band is firing on all cylinders, especially with "Manifest Destiny" and other originals that are captivating while embracing the originality and harmonic progression that seems less envogue today. The closing tune "Jazz Conspiracy" may sum up the feelings held by many artists and jazz journalists that the government of corporations especially in the entertainment community assume to play cultural gatekeeper for the rest of us while remaining a free flowing cash cow siphoning off their unsuspecting public with little accountability.
An all star line up has been assembled here to include Ralph Peterson Jr., Donald Harrison, and rising star Brian Lynch while brothers Luques (bass) and Zaccai (piano) chart a new course with all original material that is as inventive and engaging as anything currently available. All music here was recorded within one or two takes allowing for a warm, open and almost live studio sound that highlights the contributions of each band members furthering proving this chain is only as strong as its weakest link and their are simply no weak links here.
The Curtis Brothers are discovering their musical happy place somewhere between bop and hard bop with an originality and musical depth of field all their own. A journey for musical truth well worth taking.