Bazooka blends jazz, rock, and other genres into something that is nothing like fusion and more like an organic rock improv session with a slightly minimal jazz tone. Saxophonist Tony Atherton (whose credits include Cadillac Tramps and Gone), bassist Bill Crawford, and drummer Vince Meghrouni combine to create the swingin' Bazooka assault. Recorded live during various club performances, Cigars, Oysters & Booze is an impressive collection of extreme soloing and catchy, yet intricate choruses. As far as the songs go, Crawford and Meghrouni typically lay down some kind of groove rock or jazz pattern, and Atherton joins them for a chorus or two before going on an extended solo. While that doesn't sound like a very unusual approach for a jazz trio, this is not a jazz trio. They don't walk, talk or probably even smell like one. Despite all their avant-garde digressions and odd time-rhythmic flurries, there is something about this group that just plain rocks on an almost subconscious level. As Atherton's harmonic and rhythmic structures begin degenerating into a spastic noise bop, his partners do some stretching out of their own; each player gets his chance to really exorcise the strangest musical thoughts like an instrumental fit of terret's syndrome. Comparisons to Morphine might come to mind, but Bazooka is a much more of a jazz combo with many less traditional rock elements. Cigars, Oysters & Booze has an exciting, experimental live feel that fans of Bazooka are sure to enjoy.
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson