On Monday nights for seven months, the Underground Society Band would meet at the Middle East in Mark Sandman Square to play two hours of brass heavy, high energy improvised music. The consistency of our performances gave us ample opportunity to work out new material, and the atmosphere of the club encouraged unbridled funkiness.
On December 8th, 2014, a few months after the conclusion of our residency, we returned to the Corner to document some of the music we had been experimenting with. This recording is the unrefined compilation of the six first takes, one second take, and sporadic maniacal banter that comprised that one late night set.
The compositions recorded are our favorite selections from a series of pieces I wrote based on my theoretical explorations and named after cryptids and mythological creatures. The foundation of my concept involved mining unconventional modes from the tonal stratosphere, and combining them with earthy grooves from across the globe in order to fashion unruly vehicles for lawless improvisation. At the root of all of our performances has been the understanding that jazz began as subversive party music, and each of our escapades into the sonic wilderness has come with a money-back guarantee that good times are certain to be had by all.
released August 21, 2015
Bobby Spellman, trumpet, soprano trombone, and megaphone
Emily Pecoraro, soprano saxophone and clarinet
Tyler Burchfield, baritone saxophone
Josiah Reibstein, tuba
Jacob Cole, drum set
All pieces composed by Bobby Spellman.
Crudely engineered by Bobby Spellman and Ray McNamara at the Middle East Corner in Cambridge, MA on December 8, 2014.
Conscientiously mixed and mastered by Dana Billings in Ithaca, NY.
Cover art painted by Katie Cordiner.
Special thanks to:
Emily, Tyler, Josiah, and Jacob for so often dedicating their time, energy, and imagination to this project.
The staff of the Middle East Corner for providing a bi-weekly home for our unorthodox musical endeavors. I hope that conditions will be right that we may one day return.
Ben Schwendender for his tutelage in the Lydian Chromatic Concept, and for his guidance as I composed these pieces in search of the logic in the sonic unknown.
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