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Moon Hooch: Genius Comes in Threes

Last updated on January 6, 2022

Genius comes in threes when it comes to Moon Hooch. The creation of a jazz party in a trio of three cuts, Light It Up finds its way into the party songbook of the exceptionally cool Mike Wilbur (horns), Wenzl McGowen (horns), and James Muschler (drums). The trio has in a very short time exploded; jazz and funk collide into an experimental collision of improvisational dance jams delivered here in a triple hit of mind blowing cuts from Hornblow Recordings.

Recorded at Gnomehaus outside of Burlington, Vermont, the idyllic setting of the studio and its country vibe is a complete contradiction to the energy that the band delivers here. Incessant touring has created an incredible stage show, but translating that energy to a recording could be challenging; bringing in Tonio Sagan to co-produce and reproduce the primordial connection of the live experience results in the capture of lightning in a bottle.

A trippy tidbit could be that Sagan is the grandson of astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan, whose expansive ideas and study of the universe opened the minds of many. Musically Moon Hooch has done the same in a very short time. They thrust the single “Acid Mountain” out for listeners with a visual to go with the auditory mind trip. Sensual, sexual primal energy is erotic at its finest; masterful composition makes an individual dance floor orgasm imminent from the opening Wilbur shout and first attack of McGowen’s baritone saxophone.

The listener falls into “Growing UP” with its soaring sounds. What the band calls “cave music” has no confines other than the imagination, and that is the point here. Growing up requires focus, but the main element here is enjoying the ride. Somehow Moon Hooch is accomplishing the impossible; ask anyone who has experienced the classical saxophone scales and runs woven into asymmetrical dance grooves, pulsing with millenials lit up with laser lights in the club.

Closing a mere ten minutes of music that is simply as mind blowing as the universe, the title track eases in with no tell of what is to come. It’s much like anyone having the first virgin Moon Hooch live experience: slack-jawed grin possession muscling out disbelief.  Playful jazz is jammed with smooth breaks of warm embrace like a lover’s caress. The masters are at work on us all. It’s hard to stay still when the band does not– they began a national and international headlining tour on March 21. The EP is available today on all streaming outlets, and is available to pre-order. In the meantime, Light it Up! — by Lisa Whealy

March 23 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom ^
March 24 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall ^
March 25 – Reno, NV – The Saint ^
March 27 – Eugene, OR – HiFi Music Hall ^^
March 29 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom ^
March 30 – Seattle, WA – Nectar Lounge ^
March 31 – Seattle, WA – Nectar Lounge ^
April 3 – Lille, FR – L’Aeronef
April 4 – Nantes, FR – Stereolux
April 5 – Rouen, FR – Le 106
April 6 – Cenon, FR – Le Rocher de Palmer
April 7 – Puteaux – Paris, FR – Festival Chorus des Hauts de Seine
April 8 – Rambouillet, FR – L’Usine a Chapeaux
April 12 – Saint-Jean-De-Vedas, FR – Victoire 2
April 13 – Marseille, FR – Le Molotov
April 14 – Cully, CH – Cully Jazz Festival
April 15 – Annecy, FR – La Brise Glace
April 19 – Oslo, NO – National Jazz Venue
April 20 – Trondheim, NO – Dokkhuset
April 21 – Bodo, NO – Sinus
April 24 – Skien, NO – Folque
April 26 – Bergen, NO – Garage
April 27 – Kristiansand, NO – Vaktbua
April 28 – Gjoevik, NO – Kulturhus
May 4 – Stavanger, NO – Mai Jazz
May 5 – London, UK – Roundhouse
May 6 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
May 18 – Asheville, NC – Highland Brewery *
June 7 – Stephentown, NY – Disc Jam Festival
June 14 – Hammonton, NJ – Beardfest
June 15 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
June 17 – Minneapolis, MN – Turf Club
June 18 – Fargo, ND – The Aquarium
June 24 – Rochester, NY – Rochester Jazz Festival
June 25 – Rochester, NY – Rochester Jazz Festival
July 1 – Montreal, QC – Montreal International Jazz Festival
July 6 – Saint-Denis-de-Gastines, FR – Au Foin de la Rue Festival
July 10 – Rotterdam, NL – North Sea Round Town
July 21 – Stuttgart, DE – Jazz Open Festival
August 10 – Croydon, NH – Wild Woods Music and Arts Festival

^ w/ The Accidentals
^^ w/ Turkuaz
* w/ Moon Taxi