Live review: Dan Weiss Metal Jazz Quintet, Burning Ghosts at Zebulon, October 5 (Angel City Jazz Fest).

Heavy-riffin' improvisers Burning Ghosts continue to grow and dominate. Now completely integrated with the heroic crescendos and emotional plaints of their bristly material, the L.A. quartet conceived their opening set as an unbroken suite, shuffling and repeating segments with a natural flow that hypnotized the copious and appreciative crowd. One attendee, bass magician Steuart Liebig, hipped me to an unusual gadget he'd spied on Jake Vossler's guitar. I had been wondering where some of the churning grit came from, so I buttonholed Vossler at the bar afterward; he said the effect was nothing more than a spring with a pickup on it! Trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom applied mute wah skillfully, shaping his melodies with special care and intensity above the roiling waves of drummer Aaron McLendon. The Ghosts' ear-busting drive seemed so unified, it was hard to imagine how Rosenboom could wear a Dodgers cap while bassist Richard Giddens sported Yankees headgear.

The main metallic factor in the Dan Weiss Metal Jazz Quintet (pictured) was the volume. Not many metal bands engage two keyboards, especially two with the harmonic science of Craig Taborn and Matt Mitchell, who realized contrapuntal, differently colored lines that wove together chords encompassing almost all 12 tones at once. The tangled compositions tapped the chart-reading skills of beeftoned electric bassist Trevor Dunn and the normally quieter guitarist Ben Monder; as a primary writer, drummer Weiss negotiated the changes with confident thump. The New York group impressed for originality and intellect, while it may stand as credit or deficit that we couldn't picture these gentle souls torching churches. They've recorded an album; let's hear it.