Tribute band takes Phish to new level

By Jason Middlebrooks/ south campus editor

Michael Ray, Scott Flynn, Jeff Coffin and Chris Bullock make up Jazz is Phish, a tribute band that uses jazz fusion to honor the band Phish.
Photo courtesy Jazz is Phish

An excellent blend of Phish and instrumental jazz, He Never Spoke a Word does not disappoint.

The tribute band Jazz is Phish takes the blended music of Phish to a whole new level. In its debut album, the band takes an instrumental jazz fusion approach to cover a variety of Phish’s music.

The songs featured on the album covers those starting from Phish’s 1986 self-titled debut album to its 2002 album Round Room.

Fans of Phish and jazz in general will enjoy this easy listening, impressive cover album.

It’s easy to listen to the first track, “Ghost.” Compared to the original recording, the cover version has a slower tempo, but it complements the song very well.

The lyrics to the original recording of “Weigh” are odd to say the least. The jazz rendition on the album expands the oddity of the song and amplifies the blues tone of it.

The jazz rendition of “Foam” expands the exotic tone of the original with the help of steelpans. “Foam” is pleasing to the ear and has a clear story to it.

“Dog Log” starts off with a loud, piping trumpet, taking listeners back to the 1940s for the first couple of minutes of the track. It is a nice mix of big band and modern-era jazz that can make listeners get up and dance.

“Lawn Boy” is the ideal song to hear after a long day. Its mellow tone can help listeners kick back and relax.

With a funky 1970s tone, “Camel Walk” is another song that takes the listener back in time.

“Magilla” and “Alumni Blues” are the more traditional jazz songs on the album and are the best. The saxophone work in the songs are definitely worth a listen.

He Never Spoke a Word as a whole is a home run for cover albums. The jazz focus on Phish’s songs provide an alternative take and expand the story the songs are telling. Consumers not familiar with Phish’s work should gain interest in them after listening to this album.

It is a worthy investment for a music consumer’s collection.