- Kids today and their marketing: Cobblestone Jazz make a triumphant return to the studio with labelmate The Mole on Traffic Jam, but instead of naming it what it is—The Modern Deep Left Quartet—they call it Cobblestone Jazz. Can't blame them, really: Cobblestone is undoubtedly a bigger name, and the whole thing sounds like CJ anyway. In fact, it's hard to hear much of The Mole anywhere in here. Maybe it's in the tiny soul sample buried deep in the background of "Fiesta"? But with enormous synth washes, an overwhelming analogue riff and Danuel Tate's vocoded lyrics acting as yet another instrument in the mix, it's hard to care about semantics. Instead, it's best to sit back and enjoy yet another CJ classic that builds and builds and builds, giving each member the chance to flex their improvisational muscles over its eight-minute length.
"Traffic Jam" moves straighter, but is no less insistent in fighting for its right to party. Here, you can perhaps discern The Mole's influence in the way that the groove is the preeminent building block. It's given three minutes on its own with a cycling synth before Tate jumps in and drizzles some stabs on top. Stabs, though, are the name of the game: "Traffic Jam" bangs hard, and doesn't have much room for chops. This is not the kind, gentle Cobblestone Jazz we know here, but it's no less satisfying.
B Traffic Jam