SPACE-SAVER “Save Yrself” / “Exponential Bummer” (Hiccup Records)

These JAZZ NERDS, am I right guys? They’re the best. I don’t even know how we get by without them anymore – they’re the ones who stir the pot, get everybody all hot and bothered out here in the summertime (well, by the time you read this, it will be almost Thanksgiving). They’re the ones who remind us of the virtues of the ice cream cone stack. They’re the ones who are as COOL as COOL can be.

OK, maybe the all-caps “JAZZ NERDS” was a little harsh, but I was whipped up into a frenzy by this drums/sax duo from Charlottesville, Virginia. That’s on me, though – I’m easily agitated. And that’s also Travis Thatcher and Steve Snider for you: not afraid to cook the room till it boils.

“Save Yrself” was first, and it set the tone. Sometimes cacophonous, always rigorous, it bleats and crashes in the right moments, swings and jives in the right moments, falls apart, coalesces, gallops, bloats, and bursts at the right moments. They’re all right moments, get me? One after another, right moment after right moment, seemingly bubbling effortlessly from these two. Like gas from a vent. It’s an unending pleasure.

And then there was “Exponential Bummer,” existentialism extrapolated till it meant little, then less. The energy is equaled; is it more exploratory, more experimental? Is it actualized, realized, achieved? Am I just typing to hear myself type? Let’s just say there’s a track on here called “Mindfulnesslessness,” which basically doesn’t answer any question it asks itself and essentially exists just to hear itself exist. But, like, in a really pumped-up jazz kind of way – with flanger!

Any fan of anything on Astral Spirits will dig this duo big time. Seek em out.