It’s clear that there’s something very special about Endangered Blood, but it’s not immediately obvious what that might be.
Monstrous chops? Yeah, but we’re talking New York City improvisers here, so that comes with the terrain. An ability to reference a century’s worth of jazz history? Sure, and you only have to listen to the speedy, bop-inflected “Elvin Lisbon” or the Duke-Ellington-goes-to-New-Orleans lilt of “Iris”—both from the band’s recently released, self-titled debut—to pick up on that. Again, these are trained players, and you can’t graduate from jazz school without knowing the past.
What’s going on here is deeper than smarts and skills, more profound than the psychic intimacy saxophonists Chris Speed and Oscar Noriega, bassist Trevor Dunn, and drummer Jim Black have built while playing with each other in literally dozens of different settings. And what it is, Black and I finally figure out, is Endangered Blood’s respect for songs.
“We’re all fans of songs,” the drummer stresses, reached at home in Brooklyn. “You name it: Charles Ives, country songs, rock songs, whatever. So there’s a respect for vibe and for form, as well as for making things up.”
-Alexander Varty, Vancouvers’s from straight.com