"Frantic party music... Ornette Coleman mixed with a rock band" - The New York Times
"Gutbucket is nothing if not counter-culture, but for all their anarchist leanings they are actually a group of talented players who have chosen to combine rapidly-changing movement form reminiscent of early Zorn with a punk attitude. But don't let their chaotic, occasionally head banging style fool you - these players are influenced as much by the harmolodics of Ornette Coleman as they are by the thrashing of garage bands." - All About Jazz
"The high level of innovative musicianship leaves the listener wanting more." - AM News NY
Jazz wants to be free, and it's taking every other genre with it. Ornette Coleman broke most constraints that bound jazz to a structure, freeing the music to go anywhere it pleases. Miles Davis brought rock into the fold and created fusion. Now, jump ahead thirty years, and you get Gutbucket. Along with bands such as Garage a Trois (featuring Charlie Hunter) and Garaj Mahal, Gutbucket mashes free jazz, jam band rock, funk, heavy metal, and more into a fusion for the 21st century. It's like Ornette jamming with Iron Maiden and Sonic Youth. The five-year-old New York quartet is not only equally comfortable playing in front of 900 teenage skate-punks, or a crowd of stoned jam band freaks, or on an anarchist German art collective houseboat, but also - most importantly - their music fits right in, too.
On "Dry Humping the American Dream", their latest album the band the Village Voice dubbed 'stomprovisors' thrashes and twitches (sometimes literally) through 10 cartoonishly complex compositions, injecting a shot of glorious spazmitude into the minimalist cool of Bang on a Can's hep Cantaloupe label.
Flitting from Latin to thrash to polka to Klezmer and back, often within the space of a few bars, the group veritably attacks their music with the kind of ferocity usually reserved for punk, despite having earned their jazz bona fides. "We're all pretty serious about rock" says saxophonist Ken Thomson, "and not just a token throwing-in of some different tunes. It's something intrinsic to who we are as people. We've all had training in jazz, but we'd like to move outside that world into the rock world, and actually bring something new to that."
Though the band might seem rooted in the genre exploding of avant-squonk (their 2001 debut, Insomniacs Dream, was released on the Knitting Factory house imprint, while Dry Humping the American Dream was issued in Europe on the Enja label), this might be an easier move than it sounds. The four band members are, if nothing else, products of suburban radio. Bassist Eric Rockwin claims to have learned every Paul McCartney bassline by heart before his father humbled him with a Ray Brown CD. Guitarist Ty Citerman was into everything that was Hendrix and Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. And drummer Paul Chuffo learned to play by mimicking The Who's Keith Moon.
Live they present listeners with an everything-but-the-sink approach, creating a wall of sound and sounds that at times is drawn as much from the influence of Ornette Coleman as it is Frank Zappa.