It only took a few listens to Buffalo, New York’s The Reign Of Kindo to make me realize I was a jazz-rock fan. It’s important to distinguish them from what a lot of folks call fusion, which seems to err a little more heavily on the jazz side of things—and often the smoooooth jazz side of things.
Not these guys. The Reign of Kindo’s potent formula begins with a distinctly jazz-fueled approach to arrangement, rhythm and chord structure, delivered with urgency and song structures typically associated with rock. As such, they are a must-listen for both rock and jazz fans looking for a refreshing groove that isn’t too far off the beaten path.
Fleet, often busy drumming drives the bulk of the Kindo repertoire—frequently mixed right up in your face, where it belongs. Lead singer Joe Secchiaroli commands a voice that is simultaneously assertive and approachable, and the bulk of their recordings are bathed in wall-to-wall piano. While the bulk of the sonic structure here is vocals, bass, drums, and piano, guest instrumentation livens things up via sax, cello, and… hey, was that a singing saw? Cool.
And they give us a lot to choose from. Musically speaking, The Reign of Kindo’s Nimbit Store offers a couple of full-lengths includingThis is What Happens and Live YouTube Sessions, a couple yuletide EPs and a single. There’s also a ton of apparel options available, and it’s nice to see them breaking out of the “band name on a T-shirt” mold with hoodies, kids’ shirts, and even a classic mesh trucker cap—call it a utility/fashion fusion.