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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

[whitespace] Junk
Kiss Their Acid Jazz: Junk doesn't like to be pigeonholed.

Groove Is in the Heart:
The Bay Area's Junk continues its ride through the world of jazz-infused funk at a Brookdale Lodge show Friday

ACID JAZZ MAY BE THE BUZZ WORD for a sound that's deep, jazzy and groove-oriented, but it's not necessarily a label welcomed with open arms by many of the musicians who make the noise. The Bay Area jazz/funk fusion band Junk is one of those groups that shudders when critics pepper their reviews with the phrase. The Junk members even took their disdain so far as to title the band's sophomore album Kiss My Acid Jazz as a sort of tongue-in-cheek slap at the acid-jazz pigeonhole.

Although Junk may not like the term, the group does continue to churn out music that fits the suit. Grooving, funk-infused tunesters, Junk's members obviously spent as much time listening to P-Funk and Stevie Wonder as they did to Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.

Junk started riding this new wave of jazz in 1994, but its evolution can be traced back to the days when two of its four members (guitarist Dave Schumacher and baritone saxman David Robbins) became roomies at Boston's Berklee School of Music. Six years later, they met up with bassist Frank Swart and drummer Malcolm Peoples in San Francisco, and Junk was born.

The rest is Junk history. The foursome toured on its own as well as with an eclectic crop of performers like War, Taj Mahal, William S. Burroughs and Morphine and is known for shows that inspire even the shyest of wallflowers to get up and shake it. There's usually a healthy dose of hippie twirling (which is par for the course at these jazz-funk gigs), but if you're looking to dance, a Junk show is the one for you.

The band is now in the midst of touring in support of its third album, Continuation of Madness, an effort well received among fans and critics alike. Rootsy, with bebop licks, rock & roll drive and sweaty experimentation, songs like "Chutney Con Carne" and "F U, Frank" continue the newly made Junk tradition.

Junk revisits Santa Cruz on Friday (the band played a Kuumbwa show about this time last year) as it plays the eclectic Brookdale Lodge, 11570 Hwy. 9, Brookdale--always an interesting spot to check out a show. Local Hows'yerday opens, and there's even promise of an electric light show. The cover is $7, and the show starts at 9:30pm. For more info, call the Lodge at 338-6433.


Folk songstress Lui Collins joins up with traditional instrumentalist Dana Robinson on Wednesday (March 11) at the Art League Theater on Broadway. ... The comedy improv troupe Um...Gee...Um performs a spooky show in honor of Friday the 13th at the Broadway Playhouse. ... It's the '80s revisited at Palookaville on March 24, when Bow Wow Wow plays, and on March 28, when gothic rockers the Damned reunite.

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From the March 12-18, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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