Music Reviews
Bobby Muncy

Bobby Muncy

Bad Reception

On the contrary, a bad reception is something that this inventive, constantly surprising new album from Washington, D.C.-based composer/multi-instrumentalist Bobby Muncy is unlikely to receive. Bad Reception is on the cutting edge of jazz; however, while it bathes in the fringes of the genre, it turns familiar elements of jazz upside down to fit Muncy’s uncompromising vision.

Much of the record was written during the pandemic, which explains the rollercoaster of emotions contained on the record. Muncy explores avant-garde jazz but combines it with elements of Big Band, swing, hard bop, and fusion. Sometimes within the same song.

The opening track, “The Virtual Strut,” is fueled by Muncy’s blazing sax work. The intense energy of this cut leaves the listener breathless. Explosive drums pull the music forward, while Ned Judy’s melodic piano balances it all with a soft undertow. Anthony Pirog drops scorching guitar licks that add an exclamation point to the instrumental frenzy. What a way to start off an LP!

“The Quiet Hordes” does remind me of the pandemic’s dark, early days. What sounds like a disorienting, static-filled transmission gives way to crestfallen piano. Eerie. The music does pick up, yet that unsettling vibe remains.

“144th and Convent” is relatively mellow as Muncy’s soulful sax soothes the ears. There’s much to love and appreciate on this jewel of an album, and this is certainly among them.

Bobby Muncy


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