Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Funky Mustard: Press

Funky Mustard - Jazza Mostaza
- Funky Mustard – a cool and enticing name for a band that already has me hooked – generates music with a supreme edge with its release of Jazza Mostaza. This is jazz that has been modernized and with a newly acquired spin that is certainly fresh. I’ve actually been waiting for a sound like this for a while. It’s jazz with pizzazz as it doesn’t play to the listener in a desolate midnight bar where cheap lighting depresses you even more as you drink your troubles away and have a puff of a cigarette.

This new jazz is full of soul as the genre has been since its startup. The tracks are diverse and can be attributed to a spectrum of settings that is really satisfying. There’s something with a hint of Spanish mariachi, one with a desolate western wandering appeal and even optimistic hope that lingers on the horizon. The range that is explored has no boundaries as the intrepid Funky Mustard is quite adventurous – and it works.

My only concern with this hauntingly charismatic sound is where do you listen to this? I can’t place it; in what frame of mind do you engage in this album? I mean, it’s certainly an extraordinary, explorative listing of updated sounds on a genre that was quite limiting. Funky Mustard branches out in hopes to recruit outsiders to take a chance. Their updated jazzy sound with quips from all over is merely instrumentals with prominent horns and more distinct strings. At times you wonder when the vocals will kick in, but you have to remember that’s not in the full spirit of jazz – not to tell your feelings, but to show it in your music.
With a name like Funky Mustard I guess I expected something to be funky, on the one, with uncontrolled groove. With a title like Jazza Mostaza (Moosepie) I expected something jazzy, maybe something with a CTI-vibe circa 1974 or 1975. Instead what I got is a laid back instrumental band playing the kind of music one would expect to hear at a jam band festival, and that's not a bad thing at all.

They call themselves "alternative jazz" and I guess it depends on what perspective of "alternative" you take when listening to Funky Mustard. It's a bit more contemporary and rock/pop formatted than something typically jazz, but what would be considered "typical jazz" in 2008? Exactly. If Chicago (as in the band) were a young band making the rounds today and they didn't bother with singing, they probably would come up with the kind of music one hears here. The horn section is tight, the synthesizers are not too dominant (in fact I would say they are quite tasteful), and the organization/arrangements offer a chance for people to hear how in-tune they are with the music and with each other as musicians. "Technicolored" could easily be used as the background in a surfing or sailing movie, but this isn't Yacht Rock, nor is this free jazz or something too far from the norm. It's accessible, and yet you can quite pinpoint what it is that you like about them, but you do. I hope these guys will continue exploring as they are now. Fans of The Necks, The Strato Ensemble, and Supersilent will appreciate their prowess.
John Book - The Run of the Groove (Sep 8, 2008)
Here’s a bunch of jazzbos from Texas that are simply out for a good time. Not at all concerned with where to draw the line, they merrily genre splice all kinds of elements from world and jazz mixing it up with elements from contemporary masters they enjoy. Fueled by the simpatico that comes from playing together for awhile, this ensemble makes their moves with an easy grace that makes it fun to listen to. The kind of stuff you want to have around when it’s time to kick back.
First off, I have to review any band who sends me personalized guitar picks. Second, any cd that causes a smile after the first couple notes has to be reviewed. Those are the rules.

1 Esta Vez
2 Technicolored
3 Iron Horse 2
4 Alma del Fuego
5 Mucho Close
6 Jacos Lament
7 Luna Azul
8 Oscuridad y Luz
9 Alma - Otra Vez
10 Jacos Live

are what you get. The opening instrumental attracted me at once. Fresh. The whole thing is a blend of outdoorsy acoustic guitars and new age gameplan, upbeat and the stuff you could give your 40 year old dad and kid sister. Simply swims in positive vibe.
I love this cd and reserve it in that tightest of fits, my personal collection.
Ben Ohmart - Soopamusic (Aug 20, 2008)