THE BAND WHO FELL TO EARTH: ZUBATTO SYNDICATE
SEATTLE COMPOSER/GUITARIST ANDREW BOSCARDIN'S ZUBATTO SYNDICATE REVAMPS THE BIG BAND TRADITION WITH THEIR DEBUT RELEASE AND LIVE PERFORMANCE
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011:30pm
At Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave N
Admission is $5-$15, sliding scale. More information about Second Century series performances at earshot.org or (206) 547-6763 Advance tickets on sale now: brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006
for more info on the gig: Event info on Facebook
members of the ZUBATTO SYNDICATE
on July 21 and on the CD:
David Marriott, Jr.trombone
Greg Sinibaldibass clarinet and tenor saxophone
Janet Putnamoboe and English horn
Mark Tayloralto saxophone
Jim DeJoiebaritone saxophone
As in past years, the goal of the JAZZ: THE SECOND CENTURY series presented by Earshot Jazz is to feature performances of music that simultaneously question and expand the conventional boundaries and parameters of the jazz form. One of the eight bands chosen by a blind panel is the ZUBATTO SYNDICATE. The Seattle based ensemble is co-billed with TRIPTET on the 3rd of four events in July, each highlighting two projects chosen for this engaging series.
The Zubatto Syndicate, a 12-piece ensemble under the direction of composer and guitarist Andrew Boscardin, just has released its self-titled debut recording as a digital download, CD, and limited-edition audiophile vinyl double LP, featuring distinctive artwork by noted science-fiction artist Franco Brambilla.
Drawing sounds from rock, hip-hop, funk, soul and Brazilian music, Zubatto Syndicate is a highly original take on the Big Band jazz tradition. Seeking to find the musical place where Maria Schneider meets the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the Roots meet Radiohead by way of Mingus, Zubatto combines detailed arrangements and inventive harmonic ideas with rhythmic settings and idioms atypical of the jazz orchestra, as realized by the some of the top improvising musicians in Seattle.
The recording was made with the support of the American Music Centerʼs CAP Recording Program, made possible by endowment funds from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, as well as through the funds raised with the micro-patronage website Kickstarter.com.
The fusing together of disparate sounds and ideaspop and jazz, combining orchestral winds with electric sounds, the new and the traditionalis a central theme for the band, in the music as well as the nods to classic Science Fiction in the song titles and the album artwork. Science fiction imagery was part of the concept of the band and music from the very beginning," says Boscardin. Even before writing a note of music, I wanted to use classic science fiction art from the 50's for posters, and promotional materials and started collecting as many vintage magazines as I could get my hands on. The idea of a modern or forward-thinking Big Band, to me, conjured up the same tension between seemingly contradictory elements as vintage science fiction artwork. One embodies something new harkening back in time to a rich tradition and pulling those associations forward to now. The other is something old and often kitschy reaching forward in time to an imaginary future. It was that idea that appealed to meto create something that was as out of time" as that artwork. The group name itself, was intended to sound futuristic and mysterious in a campy fashion. We all know that words that start with 'Z' are automatically futuristic."
Even the instrumentation of the band reflects this idea, with the more traditional Big Band instruments like saxophones and brass being joined by orchestral woodwinds from one end of the spectrum and an electric rhythm section from the other. I wanted a group that provided a big palette and lots of textures but that was still nimble and rocks like a band one-third its size. If there is a Big Band equivalent of the Led Zeppelin maxim 'Tight But Loose,' that's the idea for Zubatto. We're still a chamber group or bar band, just a relatively big one with a bassoon."
The music itself covers a wide range of ideas and styles. There's the sounds and structure of punk and metal in Mechas Over Manhattan," a swaggering hip-hop groove under the woodwind and synth textures of A Brief History of Time Travel," a dancing Brazilian samba powers Saturn 9," a lazy blues shuffle swings through The Trouble With Earth Women" and a chunky guitar rock riff combines with a horn fanfare for Lords and Ladies of Venus." All of these different ideas are unified by the unique sound of the band and its instrumentation and the voice of Boscardin's compositions.
In today's economic climate, the musical, monetary and logistical challenges encountered in presenting daring and ambitious large scale musical projects is at times, a daunting task. Andrew Boscardin has embraced this formidable process and created an artistic statement with the Zubatto Syndicate that will impress, inspire, and illuminate fans of profound and celebratory musical vision.
The album is available directly from the band at zubattosyndicate.com, as well as from CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon.com and other online and retail outlets.