Todd Sickafoose, Tiny Resistors (Cryptogramophone)

Todd Sickafoose’s new record Tiny Resistors is a rich megabyte of jazz collaboration. I say megabyte to emphasize the weird, expansive world where this album exists—somewhere between the real and the virtual, the past and the coming life, and even between Sickafoose’s bass and the rest of his indie orchestra. Working with folks like Alan Ferber, Andrew Bird, and Ani DiFranco, Sickafoose melds an open, joyful music experience in experimental jazz. This is grassroots from the bass up with no melody or rhythm overtaking its steadfast design. However melodically layered and rhythmically skewed this record plays, Sickafoose’s strong production and cozy underlying groove are rampant.

“Future Flora” and “Cloud of Dust” color a new world. Through the album’s musical imagery is of a futuristic jazz pastoral, I was relieved, actually, to find a record that still knew how to grow, to be free and easy. Much of this album feels like a spontaneous awakening or just a momentary glimpse of something spectacular. In “Bye Bye Bees” and “Pianos of the 9th Ward,” you can picture the insect swarm or the underwater instrument. For all intents and purposes, you are a part of that swirly musical memory. The album is not a clear-cut anything. Indie jazz? Experimental? Sure. It’s an experience, however trite to say, and is easily wed with a bottle of wine, a 68 minute car ride, or maybe just a day on the porch watching neighbors pass in and out of a nap.