National Sawdust welcomes Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, the ” jam army” that never plays a song the same way once, for a rare evening of two distinctively different songbook performances back to back.
“We Insist! Freedom Now” Suite ~ where BSA will “caramelize” the pivotal and still timely 1960’s social-justice-seeking songs of Abby Lincoln, Max Roach and Oscar Brown Jr.
“The group’s purpose is unmistakable: to shake things up, your booty included.” – Carlo Wolff, Jazztimes.com
“a fleet-footed big band, sliding and swaggering through galactic R&B, brawny jazz and electric funk like a Sun Ra-size spin” – David Fricke, Rolling Stone
Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, founded by Village Voice icon Greg Tate and co-led with Dayton Ohio bassist Jared Michael Nickerson, was originally conceived in 1999 as a forum for the New York area improvisational musician to compose, record, and perform material through the deployment of Butch Morris’s “Conduction” system reflecting the breadth and depth of American diasporan music in the 21st century. David Fricke of Rolling Stone calls them “a multiracial jam army that freestyles with cool telekinesis between the lustrous menace of Miles Davis’ On The Corner, the slash-and-om of 1970s King Crimson, and Jimi Hendrix’ moonwalk across side three of Electric Ladyland.” With an alumni that includes Matana Roberts, Vijay Iyer, Julia Kent, Graham Hayes, Okkyung Lee, and Qasim Naqvi, Burnt Sugar’s prodigious personnel allows them to freely juggle a wide swath of the avant soul-jazz-hip hop & rock spectrum along with a variety of songbook performances such as Sun Ra and Steely Dan.
Greg Tate – conduction/guitar/laptop
Shelley Nicole – vocals/percussion
Julie Brown – vocals/effected vocals
Karma Mayet Johnson – vocals
Leon Gruenbaum – samchillian/piano
Bruce Mack – keyboards/vocals
Lewis Barnes – trumpet
Micah Gaugh – alto saxes/vocals
Avram Fefer – tenor sax
Paula Henderson – bari sax
Ben Tyree – guitar
Jason DiMatteo – acoustic bass
Val Jeanty – electronic percussion
Chris Eddleton – drums
Jared Michael Nickerson – electric bass
Photos by Rudy Lu and Ed Marshall