Over the years the sunny southern California band Outside Pedestrian has endured hiatuses and lineup changes. Back in the early ‘90s at Berklee College of Music was where both guitarist Anthony Fesmire and bassist David Lockeretz began their musical partnership. They played on each other’s musical projects and over time they formed a musical relationship, which then led to the formation of their own band Outside Pedestrian in Los Angeles in 1999.
The pair was working with inmates at California Rehabilitation Center, and takes their name from one of two pairs of thick gates which secured the prison. The band toured around for a time until Fesmire moved on to further his musical studies while Lockeretz stayed in California and continued to make music there. When the pair reunited back in California in 2012 they decided it was time to unearth Outside Pedestrian and making it a trio brought on veteran drummer David Oromaner.
The trio’s latest release entitled Reclaimed offers up six jazzy tunes, which take their time, working their way slowly into your ears. I’m a sucker for jazz, especially free jazz. I like when each band member takes turns jumping in and trying something out, whether or not it works it doesn’t matter, the other musicians simply follow the lead and take it somewhere else until it does. And this is precisely the feeling I get on most of the six tracks on Reclaimed.
The standout track to me on Reclaimed is definitely “Chasse” with its Coltranesque saxophone and Wes Montgomery guitar taps. The song is as smooth as any of the jazz master’s cuts I’ve ever heard. The band doesn’t just play this style of jazz though as they illustrate on “Two by Two,” which has roots in both funk and metal as does “Jake’s Shuffle.” The shortest track “Marbakki” was a little too jazz metal for my tastes and sounded a bit out of place on the album. And my only other staunch complaint would be to offer up a tad more variety as after a time some of the tracks, despite my digging them, did tend to run together.
Reclaimed would be a good record to play on a late summer night with all the windows open and a good buzz on from whatever your poisons might be. Sitting in comfortable chair and just feeling the music, letting it take you along wherever it wants to go.
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