...[Hofbauer's] edgy, outsider aesthetic informs this intriguingly
original music. Utilizing spiky lines, odd harmonies and dissonant
chord clusters (Joe Morris meets “Blood” Ulmer) while
also making striking use of space and putting a premium on swing
and blues, Hofbauer stakes out fresh territory on tunes like “Jac
Mac Talkin’”, “A Drunk Monk” and “The
Chump Killer”. Secret weapon Kelly Roberge enlivens these
tracks with rare abandon and blowtorch intensity on tenor sax.
—Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes
...Hofbauer brings a wealth of historical antecedents to his playfully
inventive compositions. A refreshingly original voice, Hofbauer
reveals an affable yet mischievous sensibility in his writing and
improvising. Aided by the superlative interpretive abilities of
his sidemen, Eric Hofbauer and The Infrared Band make Myth Understanding
a sterling debut.
—Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com
I’ve always had a weakness for records that combine conceptual
hi-jinks with sensusous sounds—records that hit both head
and body—records that are complete musical experiences. On
Myth Understanding Eric Hofbauer and his Infrared Band
offer just that. This record is rewarding on every level.
—Michael Coyle, Cadence
The music here is shot through with quirks so skillfully played
that they seem integral to the success of its realization. Although
the precedents for tenor sax-guitar-bass-drums quartets are many,
they still manage to make something fresh out of it, and in a manner
so easy that it might leave listeners wondering why so few musicians
seem to manage it. It all adds up to something special, not least
because this is a group which seems to realize that the tradition
is no end in itself, but rather something that retains its validity
only through periodic but ranging renewal.
—Nic Jones, AllAboutJazz.com
The liner notes give you all the inside dope on guitarist Hofbauer’s
compositional strategies—myths, puzzles, martial arts, puns,
programmatic narratives. But what's likely to hit you first is his
flair for bluesy, riffing AABA melodies. Yes, he likes to warp expectations
with all that gamesmanship, but at his best, he sets up a satisfying
songlike tension-and-release from stop-time and odd-meter sections
into 4/4 swing.
—Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix
...a lithe, smart quartet...Myth Understanding’s
music speaks, flows and evolves as well as one could hope...It’s
great stuff, and Hofbauer’s definitely found the right voices
for his brand of avant-postbop.
—Nathan Turk, Signal To Noise
Recommended New Release
—David Adler, AllAboutJazz-New York
The quartet serves as a bright showcase for Hofbauer's multi-layered
music, which basks in the contrapuntal and the conversational and
is stocked with narrative lines and mythological allusions.
—Owen McNally, Hartford Courant
...a band with a good sense of humor as well as great musical intelligence...it's
low-key yet probing (and challenging) music is quite delightful.
—Richard Kamins, The Middletown Eye