In the grand spirit of legendary live recordings by acts such as Frank Zappa or the Grateful Dead, this here is the first in what will be a series of live releases on 10T Records from New York based jazz-fusion/prog act Frogg Cafe. All the tracks on Admiral's Picks-Volume 1 were recorded during a slew of live shows throughout the East Coast here in North America in 2005, and show not only the bands more than capable instrumental skills, but also their ability to craft daring yet memorable compositions.
There are some really lengthy, enjoyable pieces here that bridge the gap between Frank Zappa inspired jazz-fusion, sprawling prog rock, and even the exploratory nature of some of the best jam bands. "You Can't Turn the Air Conditioning Off On a Fat Guy" as well as the brilliant "Moon Over My Hammy" contain some sizzling passages, as the guitar, violin, and keys all weave splendid lines around each other, and the locked in rhythms from bassist Andrew Sussman & drummer James Guarnieri delight yet keep things steady. "Happy Ending Shuffle" is a monstrous near 23-minute jam of epic proportions, as savage electric violin from Bill Ayasse soars over the top of intricate guitar explorations and mesmerizing rhythms. "Candy Korn" is just beautiful, with Nick Lieto's electric piano leading the charge into adventurous jazz territory, and both "Another Tsunami" and "Reluctant Observer" contain intoxicating melodies and irresistible musical passages, again bridging that gap between fusion, prog, and jam so well.
Having seen Frogg Cafe live numerous times, the excellence contained in this set of live recordings does not surprise me in the least. This is a furious band with a mountain of talent, and if they ever are listed to be playing at a venue near you, make sure you set aside the time to check them out. If not, this live album, and the ones soon to come in the series, will more than suffice.
1. You Can't Turn The Air Conditioning Off On A Fat Guy 10:26
2. Admirals Intro 0:43
3. Moon Over My Hammy 12:41
4. Another Tsunami 10:08
5. Space Dust Jam 2:31
6. Candy Korn 13:34
7. Questions Without Answers 9:37
8. Happy Ending Shuffle 22:24
9. Reluctant Observer 9:47
10. Dance 3:23
11. Eternal Optimist 5:37