Name-checked in the title of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s new album, Tae Meyulks (real name Brian Pryor) is the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based eccentric electronic-music guru who produced Lil’ Tae Rides Again and provided much of its shape and color. Meyulks manipulated hundreds of hours of the band’s studio work by filtering them through a series of sound effect plug-ins on his computer that completely altered the scope and landscape of the music.
The results are complex waves of jarring-yet-beautiful psychedelic-jazz that push the envelope of the genre further than thought possible. The idea of taking Jacob Fred Jazz Oddysey’s music to the outer edge was something bassist Reed Mathis recognized throughout the recording: “I can honestly say I had absolutely no idea what the result would sound like. I thought I had been through a process of discovery before, but this was a whole other thing.”
At times, Meyulks production renders the instruments unrecognizable; lines and melodies dissolve in an instant, morphing from straightforward, groove-based jazz played on the band’s traditional instrumentation into a series of abstract sounds and harsh beats. The gorgeously weird mix ,with its ever-evolving textures, is described by keyboardist Brian Haas as coming from, “a concept of improvisation and a concept of risk.” A Jazz Odyssey? Indeed.
Lil’ Tae Rides Again is out now on Hyena Records.