The Nomad has been running its Wednesday-night jazz series for a while now, hosting a slew of übertalented local musicians and their friends. If you haven't been to one (which you probably haven't, judging by the severe under-attendance to date) you should go. Seriously. That said, last night's performance by New York City jazz/punk band Gutbucket drew a standing-room-only crowd.
If you don't know the definition of 'gutbucket' you might be disinclined to attend a performance by a band with that name. It sounds like a slasher film. (On second thought, maybe you would be inclined to attend.) But, never fear, a gutbucket is a washtub bass and also is a style of music rooted in jazz.
Gutbucket, the band, is a high-energy quartet featuring guitar, saxophone, drums, and upright bass. When I say 'high energy,' I mean it in a physical sense—the saxophonist, Ken Thomson, jumped around the Nomad's stage during the entire show, prompting the audience to form a quasi–mosh pit in the small bar.
If you're a jazz purist, this band's not for you. If you're a punk purist, you probably should steer clear as well. And if you have a Pacemaker, you might as well stop reading this right now. But if the fusion sounded interesting, and you attended, you found a band that drew from each of its members' expertise in varied genres and pulled them together in an eruption of sound. The sax player's screaming melodies (which he played while dancing around the stage, no less) were show-stopping. Every instrument played melody during the show—sometimes all at once. Other bands who play in this way can end up just making noise, but not these guys. Each member proved his depth of talent and proficiency in playing his instrument, coming together in a supercharged raw energy more commonly found at punk rock shows, but not traditionally associated with dimly lit midweek jazz gigs.