Here's Hearing Things by Hearing ThingsRelease date: March 15, 2019
Label: Yeggs Records
What happens when a seasoned jazzer, picks up two of his musical buddies and turns his/their hand(s) onto late Fifties-early Sixties instrumental surf, rock, r&b and easy listening? I guess the answer is – you start hearing things. Actually, these three guys, Matt Bauder (sax), JP Schlegelmilch (organ), and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums), go under the name Hearing Things and their musical concoction is called Here’s Hearing Things.
What they have come up with, on one hand sounds completely familiar, but as you go along and take a closer listen, it doesn’t, as the trio keeps on coming up with various twists and turns, particularly on tracks like ‘Wooden Leg’ and ‘Uncle Jack’ that can at the same time sound unfamiliar, twisted and even eerie.
Throughout the album, it is quite evident that Bauder and his buddies not only know the music genres they are emulating inside out but also that, while their tongues seem to be firmly behind their cheeks, they love this kind of music and that they treat it with emotion and respect it certainly deserves. But then, when you take a look at Bauder’s bio, you become aware why Here’s Hearing Things works – Bauder is not only in two other groups (In Pictures and Memorize The Sky), but has studied with such avant-garde leaders as Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier, but has also worked with as diverse artists as Arcade Fire and Iron & Wine.
Essentially, Here’s Hearing Things works practically on all levels – as a musical research piece, whereas some avant-garde dudes take on “simple” musical forms, which turn out not to be so simple after all, as a showpiece how you can treat ‘the other’ music you love with emotion and respect, and finally, as a music you can really listen to and enjoy, at some points, dance to. Even slow dance, like on ‘Hotel Prison’. Excellent release.