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Courageous Endeavors - 'Prototype'

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

These cats really bring the heat. Without apology or faltering, Courageous Endeavors plows forth, seeking out new territory to be explored. What this album may lack in focus, it more than makes up for in raw talent and deep emotion.

Prototype opens with "Habits of Entitlement", a driving statement that makes a great first impression; it’s dynamic, off-kilter, and skillfully executed. That’s actually how the whole album feels. Each track has these three elements in some appropriate ratio. The grooves often evolve a few times over the course of a song, and after the establishment of each new section, there’s a brief moment of resolve before pushing forth to the next climax. "The Cliffs" and "Second Hand" are great examples of this.

After all is said and done, Prototype ends up being a great first studio effort from this Twin Cities outfit. Though this album isn’t as exciting as their live releases, it captures an important side of the ensemble, a considerably more investigative and interrogative side that leads the band into some interesting territory.

Courageous Endeavors plays at Twin Cities Jazz Festival in the 9:30 pm time slot on Saturday, June 28th at Black Dog Cafe.

Alex Marianyi is DJ Analytics in the Chicago-based hip-hop group Bellum. You can follow him on Twitter, and he won’t even file a restraining order.