Exposé Online banner

The Big Wu — Tracking Buffalo Through the Bathtub
(Phoenix Rising PR-2004, 1993, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2000-05-01

Tracking Buffalo Through the Bathtub Cover art

The Big Wu is a Midwest quintet who focuses on the amusing swing jazz groove vibes of Zappa or the Grateful Dead. This is the kind of group who can channel a happy vibe and break off into a heavy jamming section quite easily. Guitarist Chris Castino emotes a clean Jerry Garcia tone on several pieces, with Jason Fladager spurring an edge with his overdriven blues leads. Together they evoke the best assets of a funky double edged, but smooth guitar attack. “Kangaroo” could almost be a piece from an 80s Dead album with Bob Weir crooning his best down-home style. The song also features a whistled midsection along with a tasty vibes solo. “Bloodhound” taps into bluegrass territory with an amusing story offset by parallel acoustic guitar lines. Plus the band can slow things down a bit as on “Puerto Rico” or on the all-too familiar “Precious Hands.” The group is also making a serious dent in tape trader territory as indicated by extensive boot recordings by avid collectors. It’s not too hard to imagine the group stepping out on many of these pieces since winning an internet jam-band poll on www.Jambands.com earlier this year. Not bad for a seven year old local set of musical friends from Minneapolis making good on an accessible genre left void by the Dead across the nation. I’d love to hear a live tape before completely pegging the band, but if these studio sessions are any indication, this barely scratches the surface on their full capabilities.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): The Big Wu

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Praise Space Electric - Mushroom Jazz – This is progressive rock with a groove. The title Mushroom Jazz is actually a pretty apt name, as this is not too stylistically far away from Acid Jazz. Weird analog synth sounds, funky bass and...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues