When Teddy Presberg released Blueprint Of Soul two years ago, I felt that his style of jazz-meets-blues-with-hints-of-rock was really good, and that I could hear the potential of someone who could become brilliant. I felt at the time that his work had the free spirit of a jam band, but that with a bit of structure it might reveal a new side of his musicianship.
Outcries From A Sea Of Red (Outright) is an album that seems to have taken some of this constructive criticism, and turned around to create something that is very good. Things are structured, and at times reserved but it’s a calm reserve that only leads to some fierce guitar playing from Presberg. In “Timebomb” it may sound like an old Paul Butterfield-style boogie, but it then develops into something else and takes off into something seductive. He moves comfortably around different styles and time signatures, it isn’t the jazz equivalent of math rock but if those words will move people to listen to Presberg and his way of playing with tempos and time signatures, proceed. It’s not dominant, but there’s even a bit of electronic tomfoolery in “Beyond Busted”, where it sounds like Medeski, Martin & Wood hanging out with MC 900 Ft. Jesus.
I enjoy the different roads Presberg walks on with this new album, and it never strays too far from the kind of jazz and blues he loves to play.