Recorded during live sessions at Houston's Jet Lounge in early 2006, Big Sir Junior's debut release shows the power of three accomplished musicians firmly in their element. Local bassist Rozz Zamorano (Fondue Monks, Yoko Mono, Rozz Zamorano Trio) recruited former Houstonian Chris Young (guitar) and New York-bred drummer Jano Rix specifically for the sets, which drew both hardcore jazz aficionados and newbies alike. Being among the latter, what Rocks Off remembers most from the set is the trio's seemingly free-form chops. Obviously, the group knew what it was playing but like the best jazz musicians they meander their way around the songs - noodling a bit at times - eventually meeting up for the inevitable big finish. Throughout the album's six songs, Zamorano again proves why he continues to earn thePress
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' "Best Bassist" nominations, and Young and Rix seem at ease with their less pressurized environments (both are long-time session players).
A cover of Stevie Wonder's "Do Yourself A Favor" kicks off the album with a funky vibe similar to Zamorano's work with Fondue Monks. "Going to Church" is a blues-infected jam, and the cleverly titled ten-plus-minute "Weather Retort" is the group's nod to Jaco Pastorius, a big influence on Zamorano's style.
While experimental jazz certainly isn't every music lover's favorite, Super Live is an impressive snapshot of a live set that suffers only from the fact that nearly all good live recordings leave listeners wishing they had been there for the event itself. Hopefully Big Sir Junior will give us another chance.
The Rozz Zamorano Trio plays 10 p.m. tonight at the Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge, 3714 Main, www.bigtoplounge.com.