Eastern Standard Time
Off The Clock
It’s a definite treat to hear something new from one of the world’s foremost ska-jazz combos. The first three songs on this six-song EP are studio tracks, and feature the band’s jazz-influenced takes on two of ska’s most important songwriters and instrumentalists, trombonist Rico Rodriguez (represented by “Return of the Prophet”) and the late, great saxophonist, Roland Alphonso (“Sucu Sucu” and “Black Sunday”). The last three tracks were recorded live at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre in DC, and showcase the band’s own compositions. The live tracks do a fine job of conveying the energy these nine talented musicians put out on stage, making it easy to understand how an instrumental band can easily draw in an audience without lyrics or a discernable frontman. Whether live or in the studio, though, EST once again show they have chops that most other bands can only aspire to, and while I personally prefer the live tracks, there’s nothing on this EP that isn’t completely worthwhile. Highly recommended.
Leech Records, PO Box 154, CH-8042 Zürich, Switzerland, firstname.lastname@example.org; Available domestically from Eastern Standard Time, PO Box 65892, Washington, DC 20035, http://www.easternstandardtime.com.