Drawing from the traditions of Sun Ra, the Art Ensemble of Chicago as well as Miles Davis in his '60s and '70s electric period, multi-instrumentalists Steve Rush, Tom Abbs and Geoff Mann expand the trio format to new heights. From frenzied free-for-alls to delicate compositions, Yuganaut take the music out into outer space and back. More important than the listing of implements is the fact that the three gentlemen of Yuganaut are more than conscientious about leaving room in the music, not just for each other but to let the music grow. Between them they can boast of Reggie Workman’s tutelage, performance with the Warsaw National Symphony and membership in the Fela-inspired Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra.
Which is to say there is tradition, formalism, groove and a sense of fun at play. They are at core, perhaps, a jazz band; but being a jazz band means (or should mean) that anything is possible. There’s ritual, there’s storytelling, they’re contemplative, extrapolative, expressive, even impressive. Yuganaut is not here to be pigeon-holed.
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