Adam Larson on Kansas City’s jazz scene is one of the most momentous developments of 2019. Am I exaggerating? Listen With Your Eyes, Larson’s new album on Ropeadope Records, is one of the year’s most exciting mainstream jazz albums.
Consequently, I was only partly mistaken when I recently asserted that not a single album released in 2019 by a jazz musician based in Kansas City has been reviewed anywhere but Plastic Sax. Larson and his accomplished New York based cohorts including keyboardist Fabian Almazan, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Jimmy Macbride presumably recorded Listen With Your Eyes in Brooklyn before Larson moved to Kansas City. Yet I’m now willing to claim it as a Kansas City album.
Something Else raved that Listen With Your Eyes is “stellar” while Stereogum called it “a fierce, stabbing blend of hard bop, funk, and weirdness.” I concur. I’m less willing to cosign an All About Jazz review that insists that Larson’s album contains “celebratory music for active intellectuals.” I’m proof that even a sluggish dullard is capable of relishing Listen With Your Eyes.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)