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JFJO Celebrates 20 Years Of Experimental Jazz Odyssey

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (Brian Haas - left, Chris Combs - center, Josh Raymer - right)
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey / JFJO.com

Brian Haas has his own theory of relativity: Spending so much of his life in a van over the past twenty years has actually “folded time and space.” 

“I’ve been moving faster and getting closer to the speed of light, which means time has been going by quicker, right?” Haas says.

2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a band Haas took under his wing while attending the University of Tulsa. 

“I really just wanted to learn how to play jazz,” Haas says. “And then it just took on a life of its own.”

Haas, percussionist Josh Raymer and guitarist, lap steel, and synth player Chris Combs, describe the band as if it were a living, breathing entity.

The music this trio makes certainly sounds and feels alive.  The range of sounds might begin as playful and taunting whispers, then plunge into far more visceral bouts of fear and angst. JFJO’s music is in motion, and always has been.

“We’re a band for people who like change, who can acknowledge change, who understand that change is the constant,” Haas says.  “It’s all about the lineup. In 20 years we’ve had 17 or 18 different members in the band and everybody’s brought something beautiful and unique. A really great musician… he described our music as ‘irreverently healing’.”

The instrumental trio performs Friday night at the Twisted Root Gallery in Oklahoma City and Saturday afternoon in Norman at Guestroom Records, where the group will perform some of the classic material on their 20th Anniversary/Record Store Day commemorative LP.

Millions: Live In Denver is a limited-edition vinyl pressing of songs recorded over two nights in the Mile-High City’s acclaimed jazz venue Dazzle. The seven songs included on the disc represent classic material that spans the group’s two decades of music making – many of which haven’t been performed live in some time. 


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Jim is a journalism/mass communications graduate from the University of Oklahoma. While still a student, he became the host of what is now The Weekend Blues. He currently serves as KGOU’s Program Director where he supervises all aspects of KGOU’s on-air programming output.
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