Change Has Got To Come!
"Jefrey Leighton Brown, founder of ComLib's own Evolutionary Jass Band and former key participant in Jackie-o-Motherfucker, steps forth with his fantastic debut CD, Change Has Got to Come! This singular musical statement is as much a manifesto asserting soul-jazz's place in today's underground, as it is a document of Brown's individual songwriting vision. Change Has Got to Come! might seem an anachronism to some, even more marginal still for being an isolated beam of blues light in a major-key, indie-rock world. All the way down to its revolutionary, hopeful title and austere, homespun presentation, Change is a purposeful, careful reinterpretation of '70s-era, introspective avant-jazz and obtuse, small-town R&B (as Brown once described to me himself, 'the sort of soul jazz recorded in jingle studios after hours...'). But in inimitable Community Library style (where the old and new joyfully clash and swap identities), this album is far from being a simple exploration of retro-fantasy. Brown brings his signature swinging-but-casual sensibility to classic composition, as well as unusual, sparkling instrumentation (including vibraphones, sitar, electric bass, deeply layered, multi-tracked saxophones, and vocals). Most importantly, Brown wields a sense of angular deconstruction (both intervallic and rhythmic) that brings his songs into high contrast, modern expressions of tension, calm, and urgency. Free of self-consciousness, Brown brings his unpretentious, careful, abstract songwriting style to an updated soul-jazz idiom and all its moods and phases. And all this is recorded in the privacy of his own basement, with his brother and closest companions in tow, over the course of several years. Change Has Got To Come! is a perfect counterpoint to the recent Evolutionary Jass Band CD and gives some glimpse into the wealth of music yet to spring from this group and their community."