The Scott Bevins Group is more interesting than their name suggests. They're six McGill jazz guys conjuring free-form images of In a Silent Way / Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis into the 21st century. Their new record For a Mouse captures the mystic ramblings of Bevins' trumpet and Evan Shay's tenor sax overtop a churning, dense rhythm section.
It's music with no constraints, heady but unpretentious. They're part of the new school; their love of hip-hop and electronic sounds seeping into their witchy grooves even if it's unconsciously. It's what keeps this album contemporary without being impenetrable. They've done their time with the standards, now this is the stuff they really want to play.
There's nothing delicate here. For a Mouse helps refute the notion that today's jazz is only stuffy and insular. "Bad Pho" is about as violent a musical response can get to shitty food. Like BADBADNOTGOOD — another group of jazz dudes in their 20's helping to make the genre cool again — they have a penchant for covering James Blake. But with twice as many members as BBNG, the Scott Bevins Group is opting for something more esoteric, and more complex. Their take on "The Wilhelm Scream" is the prettiest thing on the record, with Scott and co. instead usually opting for their brand of intensity, a self-described "danger jazz." But don't beware this danger; embrace it.