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  • Jonathan Widran

TUCKER BROTHERS, Live at Chatterbox

Both insanely accomplished musicians and artists, the Tucker Brothers – Indianapolis based guitarist Joel and bassist Nick – have collectively vibed with the likes of Pat Martino, Russell Malone, Michael Spiro’s Ritmos Unitos, Prime Vintage, Alan Pasqua, Randy Brecker, Stefon Harris and the Sophie Faught Trio. Since pooling their creative resources and mutual muses in 2015, they’ve released three studio albums, most recently Two Parts in 2019.


Their fire breathing, freewheeling blast of a jam session Live at Chatterbox allows those of us who don’t live in Indy to hear what they and their quartet featuring tenor saxophonist Sean Imboden and drummer Carrington Clinton unleash at the Chatterbox Jazz Club every Wednesday night. It’s an hour of soulful, hard swinging, funkified, alternately high octane and dreamy, seductive bliss, starting with a feisty (and very rare) 7/4 percussive romp through “Skylark” (usually interpreted as a ballad) and a burning original blues tornado named after the tasty Maghrebi dish “Shakshuka” that gives Imboden and Joel Tucker room to improvise like the club is on fire and they want to get every last awesome note in before evacuating.


Also notable, the quartet’s spirited swirl through the Ellington standard “Caravan” (featuring more of Joel’s intricate soloing and Imboden’s blazing emotion, plus a plucky, funked out Nick Tucker bass solo), the breezy, hypnotic, Latin-tinged original “Away” and the offbeat fusion extravaganza “Rhythm Changed,” whose unique structure takes the title quite literally. Till we can all experience the Tucker Brothers live in all their glory, this amazing live album will have to suffice! Live at the Chatterbox was released the same day as the Joel Tucker Commodore Trio’s EP Communal.

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