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Throw out your expectations of what “jazz music” is or might be. Jazz is a giant tree with thick roots, a twisted trunk and continuously expanding branches. Just pull up the wikipedia page and you’ll find countless sub-genres and off-shoots. Over the past century jazz musicians have always pulled inspiration from many sources, be it Latin, funk, or even pop music.
Asheville, North Carolina’s Vertigo Jazz Project is doing just that. It being the 21st Century, we are bombarded by music from all sides, and thus influenced by it whether we like it or not. VJP decided to embrace that influence and is creating original jazz music for modern audiences. And, yes, taking jazz back to its foundation- the dance floor. This is music to move to. Throw out your inhibitions and come have fun watching some musicians play the %#$! out of their instruments. But, if that’s not your thing that’s okay, you’ll enjoy listening as well.
Speaking of musicians and their instruments, VJP is a power trio (i.e. guitar, bass and drum set). And speaking of influences, guitarist and son of a preacher man Preston Cate learned music in church at an early age, bringing some blue-eyed soul and gymnastic improv skills to the group. Meanwhile, Ryan Reardon on electric bass has been all over the map, from symphony orchestras to studying in West Africa. Rounding out the trio is Sean Mason on drum set, learning vicariously through his father, former member of The Fugs, play in all sorts of musical settings.
VJP has recently finished recording their third album, entitled “This is Rock?”, set for release on March 13, 2012. They tour throughout the southeast and enjoy frequent well-known guest soloists.
To quote the great Thelonious Monk- “Where’s jazz going? I don’t know? Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.”