Casualties of Jazz - A rare groove tribute to Black Sabbath

My first MP3 post is from a Los Angeles-based jazz/funk project, Casualties Of Jazz.

About a month ago, I was in Amoeba Music in Hollywood, waiting to check out (which on the weekends can take 30+ minutes - it's not that the staff is lazy or shiftless, the place is as big as a bowling alley or grocery store - plan on 2+ hours for your first trip). In the true American spirit of the "impulse buy", Amoeba has racks of new releases, staff picks and cool re-issues within your arm's (and your wallet's) reach. That store never dissapoints when it comes to great taste and even better musical kitsch.

That day, I looked over to the racks to find this staring back at me...

Jesus, that's hot.

I can honestly say that I'm not sure which got me first - the Sabbath-like use of the letter S, or the hot, naked redhead on top of a Hammond B3 organ. I readily admit that I'm a dirty bastard, but being born and raised in Canton, Ohio, I was a metalhead way before I was dirty, folks... I bought the record without hearing it, and was suprised to find a sublime record of B-3-driven jazz-funk covers of some of the best of Black Sabbath. The record takes a moment to set in - the bombast that Tony Iommi got out of his Gibson SG is now replaced by the funk, soul and grime of the B3. Start conjuring legends like Lou Donaldson, Robert Walter, Jimmy Smith and Neil Evans, and you'll begin to understand where the boys in COJ are approaching Sabbath from...

For weeks before reaching out to JJ Blair (producer, engineer, photographer and dog lover) I listened to the CD over and over, from beginning to end for weeks. For me (and I think most of you), a rarity. After reading the liner notes and talking to JJ, I found out the COJ boys were LA-based studio guns-for-hire, and the idea had come about after a particularly soul-sucking session with a big name rock star (who's decided that recording a whole album of tired standards beats rocking out).

I've been fortunate enough to meet the drummer for the project, Jimmy Paxson (I actually prevented him from being hit by a short bus in a wierd karmic incident I still can't explain), and I hope to have a "Q & A" session with him very soon. He's very excited about the idea of playing this stuff live, so if you dig it, we'll twist their arms and make them do a West Coast show here in Los Angeles or north in San Fransisco this Fall. Either way, please give a listen to "The Wizard" and buy the record from Amazon. It's a keeper...

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