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Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

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Tulsa OK, United States

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is a jazz band from Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. JFJO is an improvisational quartet featuring Brian Haas on piano and keyboards, Josh Raymer on drums, Chris Combs on lap steel and Jeff Harshbarger on upright bass. They originally formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1994 as an octet. The only remaining original member is Haas. Haas and Reed Mathis, the group’s bassist for over a decade, formed a trio with Matthew Edwards in early 2000. Brian Haas’ brother, Richard also played with the band as a drummer for a period before they found former Ray’s Music Exchange drummer, Jason “Jah” Smart. Original drummer and co-founder Sean Layton passed away in 2001. Midway through 2007, Joshua Raymer replaced Jason Smart as the group’s drummer. Mathis amicably parted ways with the Fred in 2009 to play with Tea Leaf Green and Marco Benevento. To replace Mathis, Matt Hayes and Chris Combs joined JFJO to form a quartet.

Despite all of the line-up changes, Jacob Fred has spent the past decade relentlessly touring the U.S. with their unique style of improvisational music. One of the most notable aspects of their music is Mathis’ innovative use of the bass guitar as a lead instrument. Mathis uses a combination of delay, volume swells, and digital octave shifting to take the instrument to new levels. JFJO, or “The Fred,” are well-known for their high energy shows and constantly transforming sound from album to album. They are often likened to other modern jazz pioneers such as Medeski, Martin and Wood and The Bad Plus.

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