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Really Don't Mind If You Sit This One Out by Mushroom

Groups and bands are one thing, but Mushroom is more of a concept --like the Golden Palominos and Material, there’s a consistent core of a few musicians but an otherwise rotating membership. Some might be tempted to pigeonhole Mushroom as a "jam band," and with good reason, but they’re both far too eclectic and focused for that, and they usually don’t jam for the sake-of-jamming.

The tag "progressive rock" fits to an extent, but there’s none of the rigidity and portentousness that makes lots of "prog" unlistenable to some folks (myself included), and no lyrics either (though sometimes they’ve guest vocalists). [To be fair, and I don’t want to unfairly p.o. the prog-heads - there are progressive rock outfits with jazz overtones and/or an impish sense of humor, such as Hatfield & the North.] "Kraut rock" fits, as they have the same seriously (though occasionally playful) open-ended and elastic approach to rock-based improvisation and sound itself (like the bands Neu, Cluster, Harmonia), but the ‘shroom at times employ funk rhythms, grooves, and outright joyous riff-age that comes from the BBQ-laced tang of soul-jazz (think Charles Earland, Big John Patton, Joey De Francesco). "Fusion" too, a case could be made for, though they forgo any excessive jizz, smugness, or wimpy-ness. Gad, these hepcats are a marketing exec’s nightmare! Mushroom simultaneously embrace the vast variety of cool and/or creative music while rejecting any simple tag, the kind of tag that would fit on many of the one-trick pony ensembles cluttering-up the music scene in general.

But (like I need to remind you), one person’s nightmare is another’s dream-come-true, and Mushroom is a windfall for those who enjoy sounds to get lost in but don’t necessarily want to give up the funk, stuff that sets you on a journey to the center of the mind but doesn’t abstain from passion, cleverness, good ol’ rockin’ oomph, and the eternal quest for The Perfect Groove. If one can dig primo Funkadelic and Jethro Tull, both electric Miles and Bardo Pond, Pharaoh Sanders and Frank Zappa, Jimmy McGriff and Can.... well, you get the idea by now. Many bands - OK, some - make a big thing about "getting down," but if/when they do "get down," they’ll find Mushroom already there & they got it all-sewn-up.

Really Don’t Mind.... is a collection of 1997-98 live recordings from various San Francisco venues - it’s a limited edition, so get active, Collectors!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mushroom
  • CD Title: Really Don't Mind If You Sit This One Out
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Four Zero Records
  • Musicians: Pat Thomas (drums, bongos), Erik Pearson (flute, sax, guitar), Graham Connah (keyboards), Dan Olmsted (guitar), Alec Paleo (bass), others.
  • Rating: Five Stars
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