The current era loves atypical bands eradicating stylistic barriers. The era will love High Pulp. Because even if this young collective from Seattle was built on a common passion for jazz, the language they speak throughout the forty minutes of Pursuit of Ends goes far beyond.
As they say themselves, Rob Homan (keyboards), Antoine Martel (keyboards, guitars), Andrew Morrill (alto saxophone), Victory Nguyen (flute, saxophone, trumpet), Scott Rixon (bass) and Bobby Granfelt (drums) recognize themselves as much in Miles Davis and Duke Ellington as in Aphex Twin and My Bloody Valentine. And it is indeed solid cables that High Pulp stretches between bop and post-rock, electro and pop, jazz-fusion and new wave.
Their exclusively instrumental soundtrack which resounds on this Qobuzissime—awarded debut, leans especially on a faultless melodic framework, itself solidly propped up against a fascinating rhythmic structure. One often thinks of the autonomous music of mad scientists like the late David Axelrod—another of High Pulp's idols—whose compositions, with vintage and futuristic flavors, have the shape of real music for fake films. It is in this loss of spatiotemporal reference points that Pursuits of Ends becomes fascinating. When its brass instruments wrap themselves around hypnotic grooves ("Kamishinjo"), when the clock does not indicate any time, and the calendar, no date.
Supported by some guests like Jaleel Shaw (Roy Haynes, Mingus Big Band), Brandee Younger (Ravi Coltrane, The Roots), Jacob Mann (Rufus Wainwright, Louis Cole) and trumpet player Theo Croker, the American collective makes a rather remarkable entry on today's jazz scene.