Words like “jazz” and “experimental” and “good” get thrown around a whole lot when talking about the weirder end of the spectrum when it comes to metal. Sometimes they are applied accurately. Sometimes not. Most of the time, they are applied to try and describe a sound that you enjoy, that you want to put into language, rather than sit back and let the tunes just bake you.
Strange Changes are an experimental jazz band from Massachusetts. They’re good. In fact, they smoke. They’re a bunch of mothers, in the old sense of the word. Their music bakes you. But don’t listen to my words – let this, just, great, like, great, cover of “Prancer” by the Dillinger Escape Plan do the smoking.
Pretty goddamn great, right? I was hoping someone would arrange this for big band. The very first time I heard those opening chords, my musical-historical brain went right to Duke Ellington live at the Newport Jazz Festival in the 50’s. The group has also done some pretty great arrangements of classic Zappa tunes off the Roxy & Elsewhere record (which turned 40 this year).