Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Universal Congress Of
Without a doubt one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated bands to grace this modern age, Universal Congress Of spawned from the wreckage of Joe Baiza's seminal jazz-punk group Saccharine Trust (who were signed to the venerable SST Records during its heyday). While they certainly bear some similarities to their forebears, Universal Congress Of dispense of the cryptic lyrical waxing in favor of a chimerical blend of jazz, funk and whatever else that grooves. It would be folly to call theirs is a simple act; intricate snare rolls and unusual horn riffs permeate their work, all anchored by heavy funky basslines to create an effectual anomaly in terms of genre.
It was only whilst looking for more adventurous material by guitarist Joe Baiza that I chanced upon Universal Congress Of -- it took me a long time thereafter to track down this particular album. I was eventually rewarded with what I consider to be a veritable pontificate of modern jazz, The Sad and Tragic Demise of Big Fine Hot Salty Black Wind. If the title alone doesn't intrigue you, the persistent driving rhythms and infectious funky basslines should pique your interest. Though it may have been released some twenty years ago, I still consider this reputable album UCO's most enduring record to date, and most certainly an imposing statement for generations of jazz enthusiasts to come.
I wish half the shit I scooped off Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus tasted this good.