Sometimes, an artist’s lack of boundaries can morph into the death certificate of a listener’s interest. So when a musician comes along who is able to indulge themselves and engage the listener, it’s a special occasion. Chicago jazz bassist Jason Ajemian can be considered one such conceptualist. He has worked under some good role models, including Rob Mazurek, Marc Ribot, Matt Bauder and Matana Roberts. So when Delmark released Folklords, Ajemian’s second release as a bandleader, he was all set to combine the weird with the wonderful.
He also smashed the acoustic ambient with the rock and the jazz, the spoken word up against the swing. He and his band of Kid Bliss—aka That Young Astronaut on sax, Owen Stewart-Robert on guitar and Jary Nazary on drums—tackle three Mingus covers, one Sun Ra cover and one Thelonious Monk cover while managing to cross breed them into suites that feature Ajemian originals. Folklords is supposed to celebrate Sun Ra’s 100th birthday, but it should also celebrate this new talent upon us.