Tag Archives: Seattle Live Music

Industrial Revelation Plays Björk

Industrial Revelation Plays Björk

Industrial Revelation (D’Vonne Lewis, Ahamefule J. Oluo, Josh Rawlings, Evan Flory-Barnes) photo by Kelly O

Wednesday, December 20, 8pm
Neptune Theatre
1303 NE 45th St
$18.50, all ages

By Halynn Blanchard

Seattle’s beloved garage-jazz foursome is going to play the iconic, unconventional music of Björk. That’s right; we’re talking about the band everyone’s talking about: Industrial Revelation. This time around, the four stellar musicians of Industrial Revelation are trying out a one-off cover performance of Björk’s Homogenic, in celebration of the groundbreaking album’s 20th anniversary.

The band—comprised of trumpeter Ahamefule J. Oluo, drummer D’Vonne Lewis, keyboardist Josh Rawlings, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes—will commemorate the Icelandic singer/songwriter’s third full-length record by performing the album, in its entirety, with backing from a recently announced special guest: modern string ensemble Andrew D.B. Joslyn and the Passenger String Quartet.

The event goes down on December 20 at the Neptune, starting at 8pm; the show is all-ages, and is predicted to sell out. But for an inclusive and original jazz quad that has performed only a handful, maybe, of cover tunes over their course of 12 years, why plan a through-album cover show?

“We wanted to take our energy and apply it to something else,” Oluo tells Dave Segal (The Stranger). “I think we have a strong enough musical identity to not lose ourselves in this music; to be true to what this music means and maintain our integrity as a distinct unit.”

Oluo says his initial hints towards this concert came around the beginning of this year, when tributes of the Radiohead’s now two-decade-old OK Computer were surfacing left and right. A big fan of OK Computer, Oluo instead turned to another 20-year-old fundamental recording, the revered Homogenic. Reflecting on his reasoning, Olou tells The Stranger:

For me, 1997 was just as much defined by Homogenic, and it made me think a lot about the way we treat masterpieces made by men versus masterpieces made by women, how we idolize them, and how we choose to honor them, and how rarely men celebrate the music of women. And it got me thinking about what Industrial Revelation would sound like playing those incredible tunes and the sound in my head told me immediately that we had to make this happen.

In an instrumental band, it is really difficult to cover “pop” albums (I use the word “pop” in comparison to jazz, America’s statistically least popular music), because often, the melodies just don’t hold up, they are often so dependent on lyrics that when you strip away the words, you are left with something tedious and indistinct. This is not the case with Björk, in general, and Homogenic, specifically. The melody lines dip and swerve, they are unpredictable and virtuosic and the way she sings them, wailing and guttural, make me think of Bubber Miley or Cootie Williams from Duke Ellington’s band, so much more than a pretty sound, something more human and more alien at the same time. There is so much there to work with. (The Stranger, Oct. 2017)

Lewis shares with Earshot Jazz that each band member had a variant level of familiarity with the album before beginning the project. Smiling always, he looks at reviving the album as a personal exploration.

Industrial Revelation has recorded solid albums together over the years, including Liberation and the Kingdom of Nri (2015) and Oak Head (2013); perhaps though, the band is best known for the impressive quality—and quantity—of their live shows throughout just about every venue in Seattle. The amount of concerts these guys put on really isn’t a small feat; Oluo, Flory-Barnes, Lewis, and Rawlings all play in multiple other groups, they travel, they have families, and they simply don’t stop going. When the four team up for Industrial Revelation, they fuse this awesome, singular power into a show that feels like a pocket.

With a little more than two weeks left until the downbeat, ticket buyers are encouraged to act fast or lose out. Oluo may be speaking for a majority of Industrial Revelation fans when he says, “I haven’t been so excited for an Industrial Revelation show in years.”

Tickets and more information are available at stgpresents.org.

Read the entire article here.

Band Crush Makes Magic

Band Crush Makes Magic

Thursday, December 8, 2016 | by CITY ARTS STAFF

The True Loves

What a night! Thanks to everyone who came out to the Piranha Shop last Saturday to kick off our new City Arts music series, Band Crush. Industrial Revelation and the True Loves delivered three hours of fun, funky tunes to a sold-out crowd—guesting on one another’s songs in special overlapping sets, covering soul classics and closing out the night together with an inspired rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up,” featuring bassist Evan Flory-Barnes on vocals. (Yes, really!) 

And thank you, too, to Mackie and American Music for providing the excellent sound system, and to Artist Home and the Piranha Shop for partnering with us on this first installment of Band Crush. Keep an eye out for the next one in Spring 2017.

Above, Jimmy James of the True Loves solos as bassist Bryant Moore holds down the groove. Photo by Charlynn Tallman.

Jimmy James (left,) Ivan Galvez (center) and Bryant Moore (right) of the True Loves warm up the crowd. Photo by Charlynn Tallman.

The full combined cast of the the True Loves and Industrial Revelation brought the night into full swing. Pictured here from left to right: Ivan Galvez on percussion, Greg Kramer on trombone, David McGraw on drums, Jimmy James on guitar, Bryant Moore on electric bass, Jason Cressey on trombone, Ahamefule J. Oluo on trumpet, D’Vonne Lewis on drums, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass and Josh Rawlings (obscured by a speaker) on keys. Photo by Charlynn Tallman.

Concertgoers got a triple dose of brass with Greg Kramer and Jason Cressey of the True Loves and Ahamefule J. Oluo of Industrial Revelation. Also in this photo: Evan Flory-Barnes and Josh Rawlings of Industrial Revelation. Photo by Photo by Charlynn Tallman.

Between the combined ensembles and the sold-out audience, space was tight in the Piranha Shop. Pictured here from left to right: Josh Rawlings, Ahamefule J. Oluo, Jimmy James, Ivan Galvez, Bryant Moore and Evan Flory-Barnes. Photo by Monica Martinez.

David McGraw of the True Loves and D’Vonne Lewis of Industrial Revelation seamlessly shared drum duties throughout the night. Photo by Monica Martinez.

Read the entire article here.

Industrial Revelation: Toward an “Everything” Music

Industrial Revelation: Toward an “Everything” Music

Industrial Revelation: Toward an “Everything” Music

Industrial Revelation photo by Daniel Sheehan

By Andrew Luthringer

“When we first started playing, I thought, this is ‘everything music.’”

Industrial Revelation is not a musical entity easily pinned down, but keyboardist Josh Rawlings’ invocation of “everything music” points in the right direction. Rawlings and his bandmates Evan Flory-Barnes (upright bass), D’Vonne Lewis (drums) and Ahamefule J. Oluo (trumpet) joined me on a recent afternoon to ponder the myriad possible ways to define what this singular quartet is all about. Earshot’s John Gilbreath, who has championed the band since they first hit the scene, has a take: “To me, the genius of Industrial Revelation is its inherent ability to obliterate imagined walls between genres and camps of music lovers.”

Spend some time hanging with these creative co-conspirators and it’s easy to see the obvious affection and mutual respect they have for each other. As they crest their 10-year anniversary as a band (with no personnel changes), the members of Industrial Revelation speak about the group as a brotherhood, in almost spiritual terms. Flory-Barnes says of their first jam, “I thought we were just getting together to play and see what happens, but from that first moment, it was a ‘thing’…It just felt natural.”

The band has always functioned intuitively, without musical conflict. This is only possible when a very special chemistry is shared. Oluo explains, “Expressing yourself involves trust, knowing that people are going to be there to understand what you’re trying to express.…Everyone in the band is engaged as a primary partner in the music. That’s the way that every song has worked since we started.”

The band members all keep busy with a slew of sideman gigs, and Oluo also maintains a vibrant career in stand-up comedy and theater, but Industrial Revelation remains a central commitment for all four. Rawlings sums it up: “This music fed my soul and my heart.…We do have to juggle. It isn’t easy, but it is easy to say yes to doing music that we love.”

The spirit is only getting stronger – and to prove the point, the band has just released Liberation & the Kingdom of Nri, a two-CD set covering a dizzying rainbow of styles and moods. In an era dominated by short attention spans and YouTube plays, the notion of a double album is bold, almost a throwback. It’s a challenge issued, both to the artists creating it and to the listener. Industrial Revelation is clearly up to the task.

The “everything” notion pops up again, as Oluo elaborates: “There is a conscious attempt to make it an ‘everything’ album, to embrace that concept.…We’ve amassed knowledge, we’ve amassed material and history. We can present a big picture.”

The picture is wide-angle, and the album’s original compositions, contributed by all members, span genres and eras: anthemic and psychedelic rock flavors, tender piano interludes, string-laden soundtrack vibes and electronic textures, ‘70s vintage soul and fusion, and heartfelt melodies leavened with the timeless spirit of New Orleans. Lewis smiles knowingly, and puts it simply: “It’s a gumbo.”

What’s also notable about the album is that the band is clearly following their hearts, not chasing trends. Oluo says they approached collaboration “in a very non-analytical way. A very thoughtful way, emotionally, but we don’t really get into creating a ‘strategy’ to approaching a song.”

When we spoke, the band was preparing for a West Coast tour, and, for a unit that operates in a spirit of vibe and interaction, it’s no surprise that the live experience is spoken about in modes of transcendence. Rawlings says, “We want everyone to be involved. I don’t get super into the ‘woo,’ but you can’t deny an energy in the room, with the sonic vibration and people pouring love at you.”

Oluo chimes in: “We’re always searching for our own humanity on stage, and when you do that, you’re getting to the core of other people’s humanity.…If you find something real and you get it out, people will feel that.”

For an “everything” band like Industrial Revelation, finding the right venue can be a delicate art. There’s no obvious pipeline or well-worn path through a particular scene, and the band’s spirit of inclusion draws a varied audience.

“There’s not really an infrastructure for us,” says Oluo. “We don’t really fall under the jazz infrastructure, we don’t fall under the indie-rock infrastructure.”

Lewis adds: “People will say, ‘You should play here, this is a big venue.’ But is it a hang? Is it a good vibe?”

This search for the right vibe enables the band to be successful playing gigs in often-unconventional venues, from warehouses to shopping malls. As Oluo points out, “It doesn’t matter where it is, you can have a great show anywhere.”

The band is outward looking, but their commitment to the Seattle scene is palpable, and they pay tribute to the astounding range of Seattle music history. After invoking Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, and Shabazz Palaces, Oluo elaborates, “There’s as much Alice in Chains in what I’m doing as there is Louis Armstrong! … I feel a bond to Seattle music. The grunge era was during my early teenage formative years – I usually wear flannel to this day! [laughs] To know the streets…to know the schools that those people came out of, there’s something special about that.”

Flory-Barnes adds, “All the eras of Seattle music, high points ranging from the Jackson Street days, the early days of jazz, to the Wheedle’s Groove days…that’s all in our music.”

Genre agnosticism aside, Industrial Revelation will no doubt continue to find themselves appointed as ambassadors to run the “jazz” gauntlet. This is a role well-cast: A durable and repeated band story is of fans telling them “they didn’t think they liked jazz, but are now inspired to dig in to other realms of the music.”

Oluo remarks, “We’re on the verge of a really interesting time for jazz. I was afraid of the label ‘jazz’ for a long time, and now I feel like I can embrace it again.”

Rawlings provides a final thought: “I think jazz in a sense is an ‘everything music.’ It’s more of an idea, of freedom of expression.…To be a vehicle to go deeper into any style of music that we really want to.”

Go deep with Industrial Revelation – it’s a trip well worth taking.

Industrial Revelation in 2016

January 2 – Neumos (Capitol Hill, Seattle)
January 23 – The Seasons Performance Hall (Yakima, WA)
January 30 – Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival (Leavenworth, WA)

Read the entire article here.

DJ Logic, Andy Coe, Pete Ciotti, & Wil Blades 11.5.15

Nectar Lounge

Seattle, WA

Words By Coleman Schwartz
Photos By Scott Shrader (J. Scott Shrader Photography)

Thursday night at Nectar Lounge in Seattle saw one of the venue’s most interesting bills in recent memory. Local contemporary jazz quartet Industrial Revelation started things off, and the headlining act was a super-jam between guitarist Andy Coe, drummer Pete Ciotti, organist Will Blades and DJ Logic.

Industrial Revelation brought a large contingent of fans out to catch their set. Nectar took on the vibe of a jazz club, with many patrons watching from the seats and those standing not pushed so tightly together. The band’s set was nothing less than prolific. The four musicians, drummer D’Vonne Lewis, bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, trumpeter Ahamefule Oluo and keyboardist Josh Rawlings, are each among the finest musicians in Seattle at their respective instrument. Within the first track, I was extremely impressed at how well the four of them could play together. They somehow found enough sonic space for all four members to solo simultaneously, while still sounding tasteful and controlled. They walked a fine line between symphony and cacophony; if just one of them had gone a bit overboard the results could have been disastrous at some points. They clearly all place a lot of trust in each other to teeter on this edge, and the gamble pays off big time.

When it came time for the first proper solo of the show, Flory-Barnes drove the crowd mad with his smoothly executed upright bass work. He made the instrument absolutely scream, and was able to use hammer-ons and pull-offs with a proficiency I did not realize was possible on upright. He made brilliant use of his high notes, always adding in the perfect harmonies to his previous lines, but never missing a beat in terms of driving the melody. He passed the spotlight to Rawlings, who wowed us with his refined dynamics and effects usage. As the crowd focused on his keyboard solo, Lewis tip-toed back into the mix behind him, their apparent psychic connection flooring everyone in attendance. As Flory-Barnes locked into a groove with Lewis, Rawlings continued his solo over the top, adding in lots of wah-pedal. Oluo sat this portion out, dancing heartily on the side of the stage. He rejoined the band briefly to close out the song, but you could tell he was due for an explosion later in the show.

The next song was the title track to their new album, Liberation & the Kingdom of Nri, titled “Liberation.” This tune was best described as jazz-influenced space-funk. Flory-Barnes moved the song along with his melodic bass work, occupying the traditional role of a lead guitar beautifully. Oluo truly got his chance to stand out on this track, with his soulful trumpet vibrato and trilling skills displayed front and center. As Lewis kept time, I was stunned at how well he managed to blur the line between human and machine. Rawlings coaxed spacey noises out of his keyboard, using only minimal effects. During this song, I kept thinking that we should send these four musicians into space to meet the aliens, as a representation of the great potential of the human race.

To follow this, they began a tune with a snapping intro from Flory-Barnes and some a capella work. As the whole band came into the mix, he and Lewis again displayed their ability to effortlessly lock into a tight groove. Flory-Barnes continued to impress with his pinch harmonics, and was visibly getting highly involved in the performance, looking almost possessed as he kept up with Lewis’s tempo. Lewis had the biggest smile on his face, you can tell that he takes an enormous amount of well-deserved pride in this project. Over this tight groove, Rawlings started to get extremely funky with the clavinet setting on his keyboard. The entire band was clearly ready to break free of their jazz mold and do something different. Lewis could be heard asking, “Where is Grace Love?!” To answer this question, she came onstage from the crowd. The rest of the band entered full-on funk mode, and she began to sing over them. The jazz audience at Nectar could not believe this was happening, and started to get a bit crazier. Her vocal lines interplayed perfectly with Oluo’s trumpet lines, carrying the melody and moving all of the fans to dance with extra vigor. As the jam slowed down and came towards its end, she embraced Oluo and left the stage.

At this point, the entire band had loosened up significantly since taking the stage. The next song featured an astounding series of full-band, syncopated stops that brought the focus back to the death-defying instrumental talent available onstage. The next track returned a bit to the space-funk territory, visited earlier in the show. Oluo’s trumpet playing absolutely stole the show here, as he went down to his knees to belt his expressive part out to the heavens. Flory-Barnes strutted around behind him, his bassline always keeping the listener guessing as to where it might go next.

The band stopped after this song, and appeared briefly to be finished with their set. The raucous reaction of the crowd quelled these notions, and the band members selected a final song to appease the audience. Flory-Barnes unleashed a barrage of notes that was seemingly endless, until it settled into a smooth quote of Radiohead’s “The National Anthem.” This quote continued, with spacey noise effects in the background from Rawlings, until Lewis and Oluo also joined into the cover. At this point, I was powerless but to scream at this unexpected cover of a personal favorite song. Lewis flawlessly reproduced Phil Selway’s chaotic cymbal work, while Oluo managed to nail the song’s horn part and Thom Yorke’s vocals simultaneously. Their version was complete with an improvised section in the middle, which was tied back into the song after a few minutes by Flory-Barnes’s subtle teasing of the bassline. Oluo eventually brought the song all the way back as he switched back to covering Yorke’s vocal part for a beautiful reprise of the main verse. This was the perfect cherry on top of their set, showing that these artists can handle anything from jazz standards to some of the most contemporary, jazz-inspired music out there. They are bringing groove-oriented jazz to the people in an accessible manner, and it makes me so happy to say that this is something you can only see regularly in Seattle. If you can, try to make it out to see their next show at the Seamonster Lounge on November 30, 2015.

Read the full article here.

Revelation of the Soul!

Revelation of the Soul!

By Dionne Poindexter on October 23rd, 2015
“We sit together waiting, making explorative chatter. 10, 20 minutes go by and then… Then it starts. This introduction of spoken word nuzzled with music and voice. It’s as if I’m being thrust into another realm… another world. The base, cool and collected and then an explosion of melody and chaos of the best kind. This erratic rhythm begins to take over my soul. The brass pushes at every sense inside my frame. The hand of Industrial Revelation is placed at my mouth, parting my lips and reaching down my throat, fisting my heart to pump the blood for me.  The beat of the skin builds and climbs and then… The strings. Silence. Then POW! So many notes. My body wants to move and shake, dance with this gift of the music. But I just met these people and it’s not that kind of venue so I quietly grove in my seat. The solitude of the keys, melancholy the way I like.  And just like that I am abandon. Left with the essence of what was.”
Read the full article here.

Capitol Hill Block Party revs up with coolest indie bands this side of Nirvana

Review of Industrial Revelation’s CD Release performance at Rhythm & Rye on April 10th

Written by Carol Banks Weber

If Bumbershoot’s the big musical, corporate deal in Seattle come Labor Day Weekend, then the Capitol Hill Block Party’s its grungier, edgier grassroots cousin. Ever since CHBP opened ticket sales last Thursday, word’s spreading fast and show’s are selling out even faster.

In the Northwest, the coolest music festival technically isn’t really a festival. It’s one massive, awesome block party featuring some of the edgiest, hottest bands everyone should be listening to.

The 19th annual block party takes place July 24-26 on East Pike Street and 12th Avenue just north of downtown Seattle proper, where all the action usually is. Gates open at different times, depending on the day, but it’s usually between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Billboard’s Natalie Weiner broke the news of the initial lineup back in March. She spoke with block party producer Jason Lajeunesse about the uniqueness of this alternative music festival. “I’m very pleased with the lineup we were able to put together this year,” he said. “In a time when large festivals are popping up all throughout the U.S., and booking many of the same bands from top to bottom, I’m proud of our diversity and quality of talent in 2015. I feel like this lineup is exemplary of the spirit of the neighborhood and the festival as a whole.”

Check out the alternative, indie bands, though, from the Northwest and beyond — 100 of ‘em. They kick everyone’s behind, and a lot of their shows are already selling out fast. Besides fly names, the bands also bring legit talent ranging from hip-hop (Flatbush ZOMBiES), dream-pop (Whitney Lyman), and the highly, outlandishly inappropriate (Thunderpussy), to industrial, revelatory jazz, smooth electronica (Danny Harley’s The Kite String Tangle), and the completely ambient-freakadelic-goth bizarre (Lesbian — they’re men btw).

Even in a music festival as fringe and fabulous as this one, there’s bound to be a few headliners. At the Capitol Hill Block Party, they include Father John Misty, Girlpool, Shabazz Palaces, BadBadNotGood, Toro y Moi, The Kills, Built to Spill, Jamie xx, and TV On The Radio.

Tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party available HERE.

Industrial Revelation plays on the Vera Project Stage on Sunday, July 26th at 2pm!

Industrial Revelation Rhythm & Rye Performance Review

Review of Industrial Revelation’s CD Release performance at Rhythm & Rye on April 10th
Written by Dick Metcalf

04.10.15 - Rhythm and Rye poster web

The occasion was the release of their new CD (soon to be reviewed here in our review pages)… BUT, it wasn’t “just another” release… a truly historic one, especially for our favorite Olympia venue, Rhythm & Rye… because the four mind-walloping tunes on this CD were actually RECORDED here (that’s a first for our friend Andy Geertsen if I’m not mistaken).  The performances were (as always) top-flight & full of energy… check out the heavy-duty quartet action by clicking the link  Ahamefule J. Oluo’s ‘End of Courtesy‘… this is a LIVE capture, by the way… & they were at the TOP of their game, no doubt you’ll agree  Heck, even their WARMUP tune was fantastic, don’cha’ know?

The set got a slightly late start (around 10:30 or so), but they were right off with best feet forward as soon as they setup… The players in this award-winning group are D’Vonne Lewis on drums; Evan Flory-Barnes on bass; Ahamefule J. Oluo doing trumpet & Josh Rawlings on fender rhodes/piano… the space is just JAMMED (as it always is when these gents are here) with folks ready to dance & party on DOW-un; energy quotients are SOARING!  What’s notably different about this performance is that the players are TOTALLY together… setup & sound check only took a couple of minutes once everyone was there, and they just JUMPED right into the tunes.  As I’ve said before (& will again), Oly owes a lot to Mr. Geertsen for making sure we have quality acts like this visiting our burg!  I’m truly looking forward to writing the review of their new release, so check back often… I’ll post the link on FB as soon as it’s ready!

Read the original article here.

2014 Golden Ear Awards Recipients

The 26th Annual Golden Ear Awards

Industrial Revelation at 2014 Earshot Awards

NW Alternative Jazz Group
Industrial Revelation

2014 seemed to be the year of Industrial Revelation. Not only did D’Vonne Lewis (drums), Evan Flory-Barnes (bass), Josh Rawlings (keyboard), and Ahamefule J. Oluo (trumpet) receive the 2014 Stranger Genius Award for Music, the cross-genre quartet also recorded a live album, headlined an Earshot Jazz Festival performance which was filmed for the documentary Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense, and earned attention from Seattle press as one of the city’s most exciting bands. Industrial Revelation’s boundary-breaking sound proves that jazz can cross be appreciated by a wide audience.

Read entire article here.

Top 10 Soul Bands

Industrial Revelation Live on KPLU

Top 10 Soul Bands
Written by Jacob Uitti for D List

Seattle is one of the most soulful and funkiest cities in the country, especially musically. We have a plethora of bands beautifully bearing their hearts, minds and dancing feet to packed audiences all around town and beyond. As a result, we thought it best to cull some of these amazing artists and bands in one list, to share their talents all together. So, without further ado, here is a list of the top 10 to help you find your soul in Seattle.

Industrial Revelation: Their LP, Oak Head (produced by Dave Abramson), was one of the best albums to come from the town in 2013. This Seattle four-piece, comprised of D’Vonne Lewis, Evan Flory-Barnes, Ahamefule J. Oluo and Josh Rawlings, have so much musical experience under their belts it’s mystifying. Evan and Josh played on M&RL’s The Heist as two members of The Teaching, Aham’s pop opera, “Now I’m Fine,” received many accolades and Lewis has drummed with just about every musician in the city. If I were to pick one band to keep watching from here on out it would be I.R.

For the full article click here.

Instant Composition

Instant Composition
Article by Jonathan Zwickle with City Arts

Industrial Revelation at Neumos

The Industrial Revelation that played Neumos last night wasn’t the Industrial Revelation that played the Triple Door in 2007 or the Industrial Revelation that played the Comet two years ago. Today’s Industrial Revelation is one of the most formidable musical forces in a city full of them. How many bands in town have even been together for that long? I can think of only a handful and none has such a singular voice as IR. They’ve developed the profound cohesion attainable only by a veteran group of collaborators. Their hard-swinging, big-feeling garage jazz is the most vital sound in Seattle right now.

Last night at Neumos they played for over an hour and the crowd—young dudes fist-pumping, young women wooing, two gray-bearded jazzbo elders, people who saw IR at Doe Bay last summer—they wanted more. Along the way the band veered from hip-hop-inflected funk to soft-focus balladry to Bitches Brew-esque fusion groove outre psuedo-classical grandeur. Their best songs leave behind genre altogether and rise into that lustrous cloud of composition and improvisation—that mode of supraliminal expression—that Charles Mingus described in the liner notes of Let My Children Hear Music:

Each jazz musician when he takes a horn in his hand—trumpet, bass, saxophone, drums—whatever instrument he plays—each soloist, that is, when he begins to ad lib on a given composition with a title and improvise a new creative melody, this man is taking the place of a composer. He is saying, “listen, I am going to give you a new complete idea with a new set of chord changes. I am going to give you a new melodic conception on a tune you are familiar with. I am a composer.” That’s what he is saying.

Instant composition. That’s heavy. That’s IR.

Aham Oluo practically stabbed the microphone with his trumpet. He split his time blowing full-force and backed away from the mic, giving room to the remaining trio, while Josh Rawlins’ Rhodes took lead. On bass, Evan Flory-Barnes played the night’s most heart-swelling solos, bowing a gorgeous interlude early into the set and fast-plucking lines of deep funk. D’Vonne Lewis—who I called “Seattle’s most talented drummer” back in ’07—delivered neck-snapping breakbeats, softly sizzling accompaniment and blistering rock n’ roll thunder. He was also the band’s frontman for the night, introducing the players a couple times throughout the set and gamely bantering with the audience.

When was the last time you saw a trumpet as a lead instrument at Neumos? After some early adjustments, the sound inside the venue was as warm and solid as I’ve ever heard it. What a pleasure to hear this music, as dynamic in tone and volume as anything performed on this stage, on such a massive sound system, perfectly tuned. The sound was enveloping: A couple times the dancing crowd verged on moshing, recalling the fullblown jazz-made mosh pit that opened during BadBadNotGood’s show late last year. (Speaking of, BBNG is the best thing going in jazz from the other coast. Let’s get them on tour with IR.)

By the end of the show Flory-Barnes had practically ripped open his button-down shirt. Oluo was on his knees, horn directed straight up at the microphone, blasting a mortal cry toward the heavens.

“It’s been a great 10 years!” Lewis told the crowd. “Through all our differences, arguments, beefs, whatever, whenever we get on stage we are one.”

Read the full article here.