Live at Ho-Down 2000

review = b+

At a time when most jambands are releasing carefully crafted studio albums, limiting trademark extended improvisation to focus on tight arrangements, Schleigho (pronounced: shlay-ho) remains true to its roots. Recorded at their own annual music and camping festival, -Live at Ho-Down 2000- is a throwback to a kinder, jammier recording. No shortage of musical exploration here. Comprised of four tracks ranging from twelve to over twentyfive minutes, -Live at Ho-Down 2000- is an unhurried, wonderfully articulate jamjazz conversation among highly skilled toastmasters. Literally. Suke Cerulo (guitar/flute), Erik Egol (drums), Jesse Gibbon (keyboards) and Paco Mahone (bass) are all chalkdust fed and book learned chop monsters. Translation: they all studied music in school. Some of the -ho's- even graduated from Bostonís prestigious Berklee College of Music. But donít get the wrong idea, these guys refuse to overplay their instruments or get caught up in gaudy technique. Schleigho just jams. And they do it with style. As well as a few friends. Derek Trucks (slide guitar) and Kofi Burbridge (flute) sit in for a stunning version of "Go Children Slow," from last yearís debut on Flying Frog Records, -Continent-, and sax wiz Joshua Smith (Birth) joins in for a delightful take of the Wayne Shorter classic, -Witch Hunt-. Firmly rooted in post-bop fusion, Schleigho is the class of the jamjazz cool school, taking its own sweet time swinging gracefully from one musical concept to the next.