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“If it's truly tasty jazz you're looking for, with highly original energy and talent that just won't quit, you will dig John's piano work with his trio... he's joined by bassist Greg Loughman and drummer Mike Connors, and they just smoke these 11 tunes!  There is nothing "cliché" about any of the pieces, and you can hear influences from lots of notables in their playing.  I was especially impressed with cuts like the 7:41 "Emancipation" - it's not just the feeling of free they create, it's also the seamlessness with which they play... when John hands off the track to Greg's bass at about 1:48 or so, you hardly even notice that the voices have changed.  This takes real skill, and Funkhouser's trio carries it off like the pros they are.  John's deep, rich keyboards on "Alone Together" will wrap you in a blues blanket that's comforting and soulful.  For something a little more "bouncy" (almost danceable), try "Ellipse"... the other beautiful thing about their music is that it takes twists & turns almost as complicated as one of my heroes, Frank Zappa... I know that's an odd comparison for a jazz trio, but their timing and supreme syncopation is what brings that to mind for me, & "Ellipse" is perfect in it's execution.... all the players are right on time, no slipups and no crowding or power grabbing! This is one of the tightest jazz trio efforts I've heard this year (& that's saying something, 'coz I've listened to a lot of them in 2009).  My definite favorite on the CD, though, is "Eleventy One"... there's a whole lot o' phunk goin' on here, especially in John's keyboard lines, & the arrangement makes you want to get up & dance until dawn has flown th' coop!  I give this a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.97 out of 5."

Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation, January, 2010


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