Serj Tankian, the mind and voice behind System of a Down, is at it again with his latest effort “Jazz-iz-Christ.” As you would expect based on the title of the album and the album’s cover art, this is a jazz album for the most part. This is not your momma’s SOAD album, but then again, this is not your typical jazz album either. Tankian incorporates various genres of music including disco and some good old craziness from the artist himself.
The session players on the album are top notch, which makes for a very engaging collection of songs. End of Time is one of my favorite tracks on the album with its sultry female voice. Outside of End of Time, the other 5 out of 6 opening tracks are all instrumentals. Some are more straightforward than others, but some are humorous at times and downright silly at others. Honeycharmed is a great example of the silliness that I am speaking of.
Serj Tankian makes his vocal debut on Distant Thing, which is the track on the album that is the jazziest. It brings me back to days in school where some friends and I would hit jazz clubs in Philadelphia on out late nights. We had already thrown a few alcoholic beverages down, but I would always be so in tune to the music that many of those nights are ingrained in my memory. Not so much for the others though. It was all about the party for them. Song of Sand is another similar song.
The latter half of the album goes more along the instrumental route again, which works just as well, but I keep finding myself wanting to hear the songs with vocals more.
Overall, music fans in general should be able to appreciate “Jazz-iz-Christ,” be they Serj Tankian fans or not. This album is really for jazz fans though, so if jazz is not your thing, you may want to pass on this album. Of course, I would still say to give it a chance because jazz is an acquired taste for some. I am a fan of many forms of jazz and am loving “Jazz-iz-Christ.”
Jazz-iz-Christ Track Listing:
1.Fish Don’t Scream
2.End of Time
5.Yerevan to Paris
6.Scotch in China
8.Song of Sand
13.Through Nights and Hope