To truly understand what Peter Martin and Generation S have done with their self-titled experiment in Jazz music, you have to turn your mind into another piece of the experiment. Take yourself out of the areas your brain is in, and make your way down the valley. Go out past the educative monks. Slide down the hill of a visually artistic experiment, through the soundscape of four musicians playing without breaks, and making their music known to any who wants to learn how jazz is made or build their influence through lead sheets provided on the website. That's what it means to listen to Peter Martin and Generation S.
As you listen to this record you hear it all. The exclamations, the hooting and hollering during the sick lines, and the general good feelings that jazz music has been known to bring. It's an experience that is filled with... dare I say it... fun. Peter Martin and Generation S is really fun to listen to.
You've got Peter Martin as the composer and pianist, Greg Hutchinson on the drums, Sarah Hanahan on the saxophone, and Ruben Rogers tearing it up on bass. As it was described by the Martin in the Open Studio press release for this record,
“‘Generation S’ was born from my desire to answer some questions: What does jazz sound like in 2023? Can a rhythm section of veteran Gen X’ers combine forces with a bad-ass Gen Z saxophone whiz to form a new breed of modern ‘Gen S’ jazz? Can we record an entire album that’s alive, interactive, and accessible, while walking the tightrope of no edits or second takes? The answers lie within my new album and band ‘Generation S’."
It's cool. It's fun. It provides jazz education and the visual art stylings of Cbabi Bay- oc who makes the album cover art during the playing of Generation S. It's all happening at once in a way that jazz can do, so what happens when you listen to it?
Generation S This is where the record picks up. Martin's piano drives us into the album. In a way, everyone in the band gets a chance to show little bits of what they can do.
That's What's Up This jam offers up a chance for the keys and sax to play together in earlier parts of the song but lets the bass player get down throughout the rest of it. I feel like you get a little better at holding down the rhythm of a song with every listen.
Path Adjacent In particular, Path Adjacent creates this very classy vibe to it. I love what the piano gets up to around 2:05. The whole song is a chance for Peter Martin to display his excellent piano skill as the rest of Generation S backs him up.
Groove Echo Chamber
"Cheesecakes... crackers!" is the bit that ends this masterpiece. Somehow that makes sense as each member of Generation S Starts off on an interesting song with old-school feeling piano rift each member gets to show off on. The Sax goes off on this really interesting and complex part before taking a break and letting the drums carry the jam with a load of more hooting and hollering. I can't lie. I love the "woos" as much as the music.
Gratitude in Motion Coming in with this beautiful opening, Gratitude in Motion is slower than the previous track. It does amazing things with all four instruments at once and completely explodes at the end, but in an outstanding way. This was my favorite track on the entire album.
Abstract Courage Maybe it's the name more than anything, but I felt a personal connection to this notion of Abstract Courage. There's something about being unseen in your efforts of greatness that helps me feel it. In another slower and more deliberate song, Hanahan's saxophone gets moments to shine here as keys fill the spaces between. It makes me want Generation Z to win the little competition I have for them and Generation Xers in my head. They get to pull off something very cool here.
"A one. A two. A one, two, three, four."
We're back on some more slam jazz from earlier in the record. The drums and
bass pick it up, as the sax plays along. I don't know what "Alfred" Martin was talking about, but I like to think it's about Batman's butler. Either way, I was down from the start on this one.
Finding Our Infinity Beautiful beginnings, a more chilled bass, relaxed drums and keys to start. It's more of the same but now with vabrato from the sax. A stunning work from Generation S for the final song on this experiment.