Seattle-based tenor and baritone sax player Skerik has played with a variety of rock and jazz names, including Pink Floyd exile Roger Waters, Wayne Horovitz, Medeski Martin and Wood, and Les Claypool. As a leader, he fronts an inventive five-man horn section that blows everything from New Orleans-style brass-band music to freewheeling skronk. The septet's funk- and hip-hop-friendly rhythm section consists of just drums and Hammond B-3 organ, but the bottom end is plenty strong.
This band's 2006 studio disc, Husky, has received acclaim from both jazz and pop outlets, and with good reason. Unlike many of the jazz-influenced jam acts working the national club circuit, these guys aren't just dabbling in soul, jazz and funk. Fact is, they have the skill and, well, the intellect to honor these traditions and add something to them as well. Their politics aren't half bad either, as the wordless screed "Go to Hell, Mr. Bush" attests.
Kudos to the Inferno for booking 'em.
As for the septet's moniker, it's not as weird as it sounds. The country's first official "drug czar," the opportunistic Harry J. Anslinger, referred to jazz as a "syncopated taint" that he claimed encouraged marijuana use and contributed to the moral decay of American youth in the 1930s and '40s.