It'd be easy to dismiss 8traC as just another jam band in an area awash in groups fitting the same description -- but resist the temptation. Whereas many acts of this ilk play loose with their grooves, these guys are tighter than the skin stretched across Joan Rivers's cheekbones.

This week alone, 8traC has a December 8 gig at Trilogy in Boulder and a December 12 date at Jazz@Jacks, and its busy schedule has paid off in funkiness. On Falling numbers such as "Let's Do It" and "Sign of the Times," drummer Chris Misner, bassist Paul McDaniel and guitarist Derek VanScoten create interwoven rhythms that provide just the right bounce for a quick-lipped horn section led by reed man Serafin Sanchez and trumpeter Jon Gray. Topping the sound is Chantel Mead, who's not just another hippie belter, as evidenced on "Into the Sun," which she croons with a sophistication beyond the capability of the area's many subpar Janis clones.

Mead and company are definitely on the right traC.


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