Ulysses Jasz Band Odyssey

I had the wrong idea about the Ulysses Jasz Band. When I popped in their album I was expecting a hot West Coast style band. What I got instead was a classic sound. Part of that classic atemporal feel is generated by the prominence of Bob Efford's fine Tenor Saxophone and Clarinet work and John Leonards crisp and laid back piano approach. But they also use Tuba, Banjo, and Washboard on some tracks. It's entertaining traditional jazz not trying too hard to define itself. It's the perfect thing to help patrons of the James Joyce Pub in Santa Barbara step out of time and relax with a brew. The name Ulysses is a reference to Joyce's famous work and the unique spelling of Jasz is a clever nod to his writing style as much as to the early spelling "Jass". It also rings of the meaning the word is said to have had before it was applied to music. Ulysses Jasz recently celebrated 20 years as the Saturday night house band at the Irish pub on Santa Barbara's State Street. They've grown a large local following in that time and the steady gig has created opportunities for many musicians. Founder Alex Marshall told a local newspaper, “Every week, the band is different. I have a pool of 50 musicians to draw upon and assemble the band every week. … I’m the only original member left.” The spontaneity of their lineup is reflected in the spontaneity of their setlist every Saturday. The sound
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