VILLAGE VOICE: An Alternate, Unsettled Top 10 OF 2009 Feature by Tom Hull = #2
NPR / A BLOG SUPREME / The Year-End List Of Lists 2009
Why this year is the year of the saxophone trio, in no particular order:
4. The Fully Celebrated, Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones
THE JAZZ SESSION (by Jason Crane) TOP 10 JAZZ CDs of 2009 = #4
VILLAGE VOICE 2009 JAZZ CRITIC'S POLL = #51
“..savory funk / vigorous odd-meter human-drum-machine patterns / manipulated dub / folkish / fiery free jazz / riveting alto lines / quiet intensity / music of a high caliber and a hell of a lot of fun. To top it off the CD includes a bonus fantasy skateboard video that proves to be a trip.” –SIGNAL TO NOISE (Winter 2010), Jay Collins
"Boston-based saxophonist Jim Hobbs, bassist Timo Shanko and drummer Django Carranza began performing together in 1987. Yet their latest collaboration, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones, hardly sounds like the work of instrumentalists well into their third decade of collaboration. The album feels fresh and playful, displaying the creative exuberance typically associated with young players in the joy-of-discovery phase.
On the opening 'Moose and Grizzly Bear's Ville', Hobbs lines are lighthearted and woozy, like a happy lush weaving through late-night streets at the pace of Carranza's oddly syncopated beats and Shanko's elastic pulse. 'Reptoid Alliance', which follows, is even more herky-jerky with Hobbs' squawk repeatedly looping back upon itself between a series of blissful improv snippets. Immediately thereafter, the title track changes course, as Shanko sets up a vintage Kingston groove that contrasts winningly with Hobbs' hiccups and splats. More hybrids follow, including 'Brothers of Heliopolis,' which toys with and then transcends Asian-music stereotypes. But 'Pearl's Blues (Your What Hurts?)' locates the strut and slink within one of jazz's most familiar forms, and 'Dew of May,' a subtly exploratory ballad, proves that the longtime bandmates can do more than genre hop. The Fully Celebrated's heady blend brims with a vitality that hasn't ebbed with the passage of time."
...–Michael Roberts, Jazziz
"This trio has crafted a disc full of power and intrigue on every level."
TIME OUT NEW YORK
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".. a virtuoso ensemble. .. There's no one with a more individual sound and conception than Hobbs"
ALL ABOUT JAZZ.com
“..Skillfully mixing reggae beats and Dub technology into the mix, this session adds a new wrinkle while maintaining their core appeal—catchy, mercurial tunes buoyed by visceral improvisation. .. Hobbs, the leader and primary songwriter, is one of his generation's most gifted altoists; his ability to effortlessly glide between pitches and microtones enables a boundless capacity for tonal expression. .. Filled with memorable melodies, stirring interplay and a wealth of sonic variety, Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones is a welcome return from one of the most resourceful saxophone trios working today”