Tom Hayes 18-Jul-2006 Live at Cabo’s

A nice curio private press from 1977 that one might still find on a good day of crate digging. PB&F were formed and survived off the 1970s university culture, in this case the University of Illinois. They were a full 6 piece jazz band who, like many in the day, fused elements of funk, rock and Latin styles into their distinct brew. Two guitarists, bass, drums, a dedicated conga player and the primary soloist doubles on both tenor sax and flute. A long album (close to 50 minutes), with 4 of the 6 tracks being entirely instrumental. It’s these compositions that make the album a success, with melodies that recall Ian Carr’s Nucleus and other melodic Brit-jazz combos, with plenty of room left for solos, which never bog down in tuneless noise. Band leader Peter Berkow must’ve fancied himself a bit of a fun storyteller, and these two tracks (that open and close the album) are a bit silly, especially the funky ‘Burger Love’. Still, both cuts feature fine reed work and some tasty wah wah guitar solos. A true relic of the times, and worth exploring.

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