As jazz edges ever further from the mainstream, keyboardist Erik Deutsch continues to assimilate sounds from the pop charts—of the 1970s, that is. His second album, Hush Money, draws from the prog-rock and singer-songwriter movements, edgy funk, Afro-soul, and especially album-oriented jazz-fusion like Steely Dan. (It might be the only record in that style to ever include bass clarinet and bassoon.) This direction isn’t surprising; Deutsch used to play in the jam band Fat Mama, which specialized in the harder-core fusion of the same era. But Deutsch’s current musical trajectory is more audacious than it sounds: He marries jazz improvisation to introspective, folkish melodies and sonic textures (spun with Moog synthesizers and other instruments) that seem as experimental today as in 1972. It’s music that demands attention from the postrock universe—and promises even bolder surprises to come.

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