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Slumgum is a jazz quartet from L.A. with a name that only a beekeeper could love. The young group’s sophisticated, elegant blend of modern classical music and avant-garde jazz belies its icky moniker. The members formed Slumgum when they met as students at the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. However, expect the band to sound more like the Art Ensemble of Chicago than the trumpeter who gave us Whipped Cream (and Other Delights).
“Minuet in G” is an example of the group playing with contemporary classical conventions; the short song quickly unravels into dissonance before the band members reel it back in with restraint and a hint of melody. Slumgum isn’t afraid to embark on a free form jazz odyssey, as evidenced by the monumental “Long Shadows” that’s just shy of 20 minutes. The song’s length allows each of the members of Slumgum to make some bold moves—in particular, finishing the song with a harmonized vocal chant.
Slumgum appears tonight at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U St., NW, $10.