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Quick CD Review: Rockin’ Teenage Combo / 6/4 Getaway (Innerspace Records, 2000)
By BK

In addition to the Living Daylights, who are featured in this issue with an interview with their bassist Arne Livingstone, there is another jazz-rock trio that calls the Pacific Northwest home. This band is Seattle’s Rockin’ Teenage Combo and the release is 6/4 Getaway, which consisted of pianist Dara Quinn, bassist Paul Kemmish and the split drumming duties of Olli Klomp and Dave Hill. Since the release of this album, drummer Jason  McGerr has assumed the full time drumming duties. Like all of their jazz trio colleagues, Rockin’ Teenage Combo dedicate their skills to the creation of dance grooves with the use of only three instruments. In this case, a difficult task easily accomplished. ‘Superhero" has progressive rock undertones with its complex composition, the use of themes and long periods of improvisation. At moments, the song has the hard drive of King Crimson but at the next, it has the funky Latin sounds of Chick Corea. That is just the opening song. "PK & Olli’s" is an incredible groove that could almost be classified as techno unplugged. The groove is upbeat and entrancing and with its repeating themes, there is an aura of acoustic looping. A sound somewhat similar to what Miles Davis was trying to achieve in the 1970s but simpler and less textured. "BH" allows for the band to play some medium tempo swinging blues while "Slinkshot" is a groove funk piece in the tradition of an acoustic Medeski, Martin and Wood. Quinn gives up the acoustic sounds to get abstract with her electronic keys for this one. This song also allows for Klemmish to create some genuinely pulsating rhythms. Once again, there is a dance floor sensation but with the confines of a jazz trio. For the tune "Somebody Else’s Umbrella", Quinn’s playing is phenomenal. Even in the middle of a percussion laden rhythmic groove that would bring any napper to his/her feet, Quinn manages to still play introspectively and deliberately. This album is yet another reason why jazz trios are creating the best music out there today: the Slip, Soulive, Medeski, Martin &Wood, these guys. Need I say more?