…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