An expanded version of the World Saxophone Quartet takes on Bush, Cheney and the rest on the raucous, Afro-Caribbean-influenced title track and several other cuts, reminding us that jazz, at base, is potent political music. Even guitar great James "Blood" Ulmer's relaxed, ambling reading of "Mannish Boy" comes off as sardonic protest music.
The musical centerpiece here is trombonist Craig Harris' tripartite "Bluocracy," a pleasing mix of push-and-pull funk and slightly out-of-kilter horn arrangements that's raucous and playful one minute and stone-cold serious the next. But even the slighter tunes give saxophone mainstays David Murray (who also squeezes out the excoriating lyrics of the title tune), Hamiet Bluiett and Oliver Lake plenty of material to work with.
Could you have heard the same kind of playing 30 years ago, when many of the musicians involved were stepping out in New York's vanguard "loft" jazz scene? Yes. But music this positive and purposeful doesn't get old.