Moon Hooch – The Joshua Tree (2017)

Moon Hooch - The Joshua Tree (2017)
Artist: Moon Hooch
Album: The Joshua Tree
Genre: Nu Jazz, Dance, World Fusion
Origin: USA
Released: 2017
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
Sandstorm
Dancing Dwarf
Mountain Lion
Jiggle
Criminals
Improv Intro
Improv
Ballad
Outer Urge

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Formed in 2010, time has seen Moon Hooch develop a considerably respectable reputation. The jazz fusion trio emerged as one of Brooklyn’s most exciting and energetic street acts around, eventually securing record label interest and releasing material at a steady pace. It is on Joshua Tree, though, after 3 full records, where it seems like the group are finally translating the quality of their live sets onto their studio recordings seamlessly the most.

The spontaneous nature of this 8-song EP is evident throughout most of its runtime. The band shift styles and moods naturally, successfully escaping both genre-hopping and redundancy. The frenzy of “Criminals” is counterbalanced by “Ballad” and its slightly more brooding tone. Hooch’s funk influences shine through on standouts such as “Sandstorm” or “Outer Urge” whlist allowing “Jiggle” to be a bone fide success. The dancey appeal to said tunes is almost palpable and definitely contagious. But it is the musicianship of the group that, by far and away, makes them such a pleasure to listen to here. Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen’s dual saxophone attack is ever-present and abundant on memorable hooks: their communication clashes and molds emphatically on “Mountain Lion.” James Muschler’s percussion duty is not one to overlook at any time either, as he shines particularly on “Dancing Dwarf.”

20 minutes seems like a perfectly reasonable length for Joshua Tree to run its course – any more or less would potentially damage its balance. Moon Hooch seems to be a band best enjoyed in small-to-moderate doses. But this is by no means a form of criticism: here, the trio say their piece, make their impact and leave without ever overstaying their welcome. For anyone looking for their daily fix of catchy dance-infused jazz, this EP more than provides it.
Review by Daniel Dias

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