The Comet Is Coming played Crystal Ballroom – 10/18

The London-based cosmic jazz trio brought their Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam tour to Somerville last week. 

Shabaka Hutchings is a busy guy. Between solo endeavors and his work with The Ancestors and Sons of Kemet (among others), Hutchings can be heard in numerous iterations of the extended universe of contemporary jazz. And while I’ve been a fan of most everything I’ve heard his fingerprints on, I’d argue that some of Hutchings’ most immediate and exciting work stems from The Comet Is Coming – a trio that also includes keyboardist Dan Leavers and drummer Max Hallett. The band’s sound is rooted in jazz – and Hutchings’ prominent sax – but welcomes in an eclectic range of electronic and psychedelic influence that pushes them beyond the realm of even a traditional fusion band.

Expansion Beam – their third LP – dropped in September, and the band arrived in Somerville last week ready to groove with a range of those tracks and some older cuts. Sans opener, they hit the stage just after 8 and dove straight in, transfixing an appreciative crowd with a set that got danceable, heady and hypnotic in that sense that only a great psych band can pull off. We didn’t hear much banter from the group, save for some appropriately cryptic musings from Leavers, but there was no need for further explication. Space is the place, and the music had no trouble taking us there.

Check out some (frequently trippy) photos from the set below.