Friday 13 September 2019

'How's By You?' by Bright Dog Red

Following the praise and plaudits for Bright Dog Red's 2018 debut record 'Means to the Ends', the improv jazz outfit from Albany, New York, return with their thrilling follow-up for 2019, 'How's By You?'.

Founded by drummer, Joe Pignato - a one-time student of Yusef Lateef and now a State University Professor in his own right - and comprising of students who participated in extensive Pignato-led jam sessions, the Bright Dog Red line-up comprise drums by Pignato, Anthony Berman on bass, saxophonist Mike LaBombard, rapper Cully and sound & electronics by Cody Davies, Bright Dog Red have once again aligned with one of the leading labels for contemporary and forward-thinking jazz music, Ropeadope Records.

Much has been made about Bright Dog Red's boundless skill at improvisation and the fact that 'Means to the Ends' is an album born out of hours of recorded jam sessions, so what adds a further layer of intrigue to that project's successor is the fact that - while the band still relish the improvisational approach - the sessions were carried out with 'How's By You?' in mind, perhaps resulting in a more calculated and deliberate perspective when considering the album's structure as a whole.

'How's By You?' presents the band as becoming even more experimental and diverse in their compositions - which is perhaps a concept that wouldn't have seemed possible to many following the eclecticism displayed throughout 'Means to the Ends'.  On this release, however, Cody Davies (credited as supplying sound and electronics for the band) embraces his role further by immersing the musicians within a more disparate and celestial sonic landscape which the Bright Dog Red members seem to thrive in - ultimately all contributing to this overwhelming cacophony of sounds.  The opener 'Runnin 'em Hurdles' eases you in perfectly but by the time you've reached the album's centrepiece - the 9+ minute otherworldly 'What's The Point?' - you ultimately stop trying to comprehend this unravelling psychedelic experience and just learn to accept its mesmerizing nature.

With eyes already set on the third Bright Dog Red release, we'd always urge anyone not aboard the Bright Dog Red train yet to grab a ticket.  Theirs is an unrivalled approach to contemporary jazz - one that challenges and inspires and we're excited to take the 'How's By You?' journey again and again.

You can purchase your copy of the album from Bandcamp.

Also, if you've yet to do so, have a listen to Joe Pignato as a guest on the Blue-in-Green:PODCAST recorded earlier this year discussing 'Means to the Ends' as well as 'How's By You?'.

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