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Dirt Date
Mbaye Sasu

HALCYON DAZE The Pelican

CD album | gg464
Initially founded in 2015, after a period of shuffling members and names, Halcyon Daze settled on its final lineup by early 2016 of then-high schoolers Ivan Cunningham (saxophones), George Adzick (woodwinds), Nicholas Christenson (guitars), and Samuel Stroup (drums). At this point, the band entered its peak of activity within the Twin Cities jazz scene of the time, performing at many of its most prominent venues and DIY spaces while building up an extensive songbook of original compositions and idiosyncratic covers. Though the members of the band have continued to collaborate frequently on various other projects, as they eventually spread between Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, the band’s activity as a quartet slowed until their final public performance in 2018. In the summer of 2016, after Adzick’s and Stroup’s graduation, the band also recorded eight songs, seven originals by Cunningham, Stroup, and Christenson along with one Senegalese psychedelia cover, to 8-track tape which, due largely to financial constraints, was never released until now. The Pelican combines simple tunefulness, distorted aggression, and careful exploration of musical space, showing a group full of youthful energy and fearlessness. Following most obviously in the footsteps of jazz-punk bands like The Lounge Lizards and Last Exit, the group also reflects diverse influences from La Monte Young to Louis Moholo-Moholo and, most importantly, 2010s Twin Cities jazz bands like Vector Families and Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band. Full tracklist: 1. Dirt Date 2. Ten-Gallon Belt Buckle 3. Wheelwright 4. Mbaye Sasu 5. Theme From The Pelican 6. Bolegdeh 7. The Cinnamon Challenge 8. Big Blue. Price: € 19,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Bevor sie sich 2018 in alle Winde zerstreuten, Ivan Cunningham (saxophones) zu Riverdog – einer kleinen Entdeckung auf Nato – und zu Ivan Cunninghams Freedom Pie, hat er zusammen mit seinen High-School-Freunden George Adzick (wood­winds), Nicholas Christenson (bass & guitar) und Samuel Stroup (drums) mitgemischt im Dunstkreis lokaler Jazzmatadoren wie Vector Families (mit Dave King an Drums) und Cory Healeys Beautiful Sunshine Band. Und ihren Jazzpunk eingefangen, so dass er von Walter Robotka entdeckt wurde und nun auf The Pelican posthum mit Daumen hoch gewürdigt werden kann.
(Bad Alchemy, April 2024)

First track has a very nice fuzz bass in it, after an intro with two saxes. All the songs are focused on melody and groove and played with infectious enthusiasm. For fans of the Lounge Lizards, with whom Chris Cunningham, Ivans dad and recording engineer for this release, has played.
(Vital Weekly, May 2024)