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Das Vibenbass

The real thing

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I’ve always said if you think Kenny G is jazz, then you don’t know jazz. While not an expert on the genre, I know the basic elements. I know that real jazz doesn’t incorporate synthesizers and most definitely doesn’t use an electric bass. It’s just not done. Real jazz is free flowing, spontaneous and relies on improvisation, and Seattle-based Das Vibenbass follows these rules to a “T.”

The quartet of Josh Clifford (tenor sax), Geoff Larson (upright bass), JC Bockman (drums) and Justin Sorensen (vibraphone) formed in 2001 and were eager to get the word out that they had arrived. Falling somewhere in between avant-garde, fusion and jazz-funk, the band unites their influences from the likes of contemporary jazz players John Medeski and Dave Holland with vintage jazz gods Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

In 2006, Das Vibenbass released two full-length albums: Animals and Robots was a tempered compilation of jams whereas Mindwrestling possessed looser grooves.

Their latest, 2007’s Fodakis, is another stunner as it combines the control of Animals and Robots with the off-the-cuff improv of Mindwrestling. While all three discs are four-star ventures, to experience jazz is best done in a live setting. Witness real jazz Friday night at The Royal in Olympia.

[The Royal, Friday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m., 311 N. Capital Way, Olympia, 360.705.0760]

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