Combining a variety of genres and timbres, Mori Stylez' Rules for Rotation maintains a warm, jazzy feel throughout -- mostly due to the reed work of bassoonist (and guitarist) Zed Kelley and clarinetist (and electric mandolinist) Dennis Lichtman. The songs are grounded in a firm jazz background but call from a variety of styles, including bluegrass, hardcore, and chamber music. In places, the music sounds like a more upbeat, electrified version of the dank, autumnal sound of the Deadly Nightshade Family Singers. Entirely instrumental, the songs have a surprising drive to them, especially considering drummer Barry Davis' subtle role in the band's sound. Unlike typical jazz and bluegrass drummers, his job is more melodic than rhythmic, adding color to the band's momentum on songs like "Darcopus" and the band's cover of Charles Mingus' "Reincarnation of a Lovebird." The varying horn and stringed instrument combinations make for interesting harmonized melodic parts. Mori Stylez gets a little tedious when it strays into funk territory, but thankfully the band doesn't do so too often.
AllMusic Review by Jesse Jarnow