Being in a band sure is fun. Until, that is, you realize that there are actual costs involved. Like, recording costs, for one. So, maybe the John Lewis Band should be applauded for taking this route with its debut release: Instead of hitting the studio and laying down a substantial amount of cash to get its music produced, the band decided to go a different route, simply recording its live show during a recent performance at the Henderson Avenue haunt, Vickery Park. Hence, y'know, Vickery Park Sessions.

The results here, however, are a mixed bag. There's no doubt that John Lewis and Co.'s jazz-funk fusion makes for a compelling live listen in the right setting. And, surely, the quality of this recording is better than one would expect from a soundboard take. But considering that this is a relatively new band, one still building its reputation about town, this release seems a little, I dunno, moot. Because, while the disc does nothing to hurt the band's live show cred—it capably showcases the band's wide range of talents, from the laid-back Dave Matthews feel of "Tall Grass and Pink Peaches" to the urgent pulse of the horn-driven "Released"—it unfortunately doesn't make for the most compelling listen coming from your stereo.

You'd be better served catching the real thing when the band performs on Saturday, October 31, at the House of Blues.