Joe Blessett: “Excuse Me” – The worlds of jazz, rock and soul cross paths
On his latest album release, “Excuse Me”, Joe Blessett sets the stage with “Who’s In My Shit” – a bass-pounding swing which leads into a fat, flowing guitar-heavy groove you can bop your head to. From there on out, Blessett serves up a blend of Acid Jazz, Soul and Rock-based sounds that are cerebral, surreal, and heavily improvisational jams ready to twist your soul and bend your ears.
The sound is very hard to categorize since it defines definition and is so broad in scope. “Paying Bills” is rap-focused song with a fat driving bass-line with instrumental improvisation throughout.
“Joe Blow” exults a horn section, which is emphasized even further when a section of Saxophones break out into reverberating solos leading the pack fluidly through the groove.
Joe Blessett’s creative chord phrasings, pounding bass-lines and manic sound sampling can drive a man to drink with grooves that will that’ll knock you off your stool or blow the headphones off your ears. See if you can handle “I Say Eat Him” or “Athene’s Theory” at maximum volume!
In essence, Joe Blessett is amazingly different. I think the studio work he has done captures his creativity perfectly. In fact, I think it gives Blessett a little leeway to be even more creative and try things that he can’t do live. In fact Blessett mentions on his website that he realized his limitations as a performer, so he quit performing live preferring to experiment and record his musical creations in a studio environment.
The worlds of jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul and funk have crossed and at that intersection is “Excuse Me” by Joe Blessett. One of the joys of this album is its eclectic nature, it’s hard to understand or prepare for what’s coming next. Which means that while this album may not be for everyone it’s worth a listen or two.
The music captures the fires and passions often brewing within Blessett. Comfortable with his craft and sound work, numerous samples are overlaid creating a rich but evocative sound. The rabid soundscapes are infectious and sometimes even disturbing, mixing a varied amount of styles all into the same track not. Clearly this album is for the open-minded and not for the faint at heart or musical snobs.
The music is loaded with energy and ever-changing rhythms, influences and sounds, as Blessett disregards conventional music structures like verse-bridge-chorus-verse. Instead he kicks off a track with one idea then develops it, moving through various tangents without limits or boundaries. Tracks I liked best were “Taking It Down”, “Kali”, “In The City” and “Good To My Girl”, but probably because they were the most accessible of the bunch.
Joe Blessett uses time to build up the tracks, as complex drum patterns grow into the songs. The production of the music, the structure in the instrumentation, and the fusion of sounds speak clearly for itself. Joe Blessett is experimenting and doing his thing without the claustrophobic limits of conventional music. Grab this album and you will have turned yourself onto an artist that will change the way you think about music.