I have to say this uncategorically, "Reliance" is one of the best recordings I have heard by a new group in quite some time. The name of this dynamic trio is Intuit Ensemble. They have generated an adventuresome CD with a great deal of potential and promise. Surprisingly, these three guys have only been together two years or so, but listening to their play as a unit makes them seem like seasoned veterans.
Jazz these days comes in many flavors; in fact, when a new group ventures out, you are never quite sure what to expect. The Intuit Ensemble has definitely hit the ground running with a dynamic mix of bebop flavored jazz. This effort draws upon the influences of John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Sam Rivers and Tadd Dameron to get the Intuit Ensemble up and running. Although the CD is filled with covers of these legendary jazz masters, the trio blends well together with a voice all their own. They even provide just a hint of contemporary style for flavor, which further enhances their individuality as a group. I have to applaud these guys for stepping out on tradition, rather than fall into a generic smooth jazz formula. The band's approach is not by accident, in fact these guys have been aggressively pursuing jazz for a number of years.
From the onset of "Reliance's" first track I knew this was a very special recording. What stood out was Damon Lee's vibrant bass resonating behind the awesome sax' infused riffs of Brendan Rush. The rhythmic heritage displayed by drummer David Julius also complements the trio quite well. All-in-all, this recording is a fine example of quality jazz that stays close to the essence of the genre, while making a statement to the unsophisticated listener that bebop can be enjoyable. About the only other thing I can say concerning the Intuit Ensemble is that they are truly ready for the next 100 years as a jazz influence. Stay tuned, you will be hearing a great deal more about this super trio that comes to you live from San Francisco, California.