While combining elements of hip-hop and jazz, Doctor Magnum eschews the directionless noodling often associated with improvised guitar music in favor of engaged interaction. Self-described as "the mess left behind after a drunken Craigslist orgy between Led Zeppelin, the Jazz Messengers, and the Wu-Tang Clan," their intricate arranging, blistering improvisations, and progressive sonic palate define a strikingly original brand of instrumental music. Doctor Magnum's upcoming debut studio release, Magnum Carta Holy Grail, boasts a combination of energetic original compositions and imaginative interpretations of songs written by Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, and others.
In 2013, All About Jazz contributor Jeff Dayton-Johnson wrote that Doctor Magnum’s “instrumentation is classic rock 'n' roll,” but they “[want to be] a hip hop infused band whose members listen to each other the way the classic [Bill] Evans trio did.” With the release of Magnum Carta Holy Grail one year later, the Albany, NY-based band has created a fully realized representation of their concept. By recording live in the studio with no overdubs, Charlie Button (lead guitar), Jerome Steele (lead guitar), Steve Keator (keyboard), and Rob Colpoys (drums) find a balance between conversational improvisation, soulful expression, and youthful urgency over the course of the album’s six tracks. Mastered by Kelly Hibbert (J. Dilla, Karriem Riggins, Flying Lotus), Doctor Magnum’s Magnum Carta Holy Grail is just the beginning for a band that embraces reinvention and evolution.
Doctor Magnum’s unique concoction of hip-hop, jazz, and rock thrives in their energetic live sets. Since forming in 2012, the concert environment has served as the perfect place for Doctor Magnum to develop their exciting approach to improvised music and is where the band has, as music editor Josh Potter at Albany’s Metroland has put it, “transcended their jam-band billing.” In just a short time, their versatile live sets have found them playing shows with such wide-reaching artists as 2012 Guggenheim Award recipient and Tom Waits collaborator, Bobby Previte, to East Coast jam band favorites, including Tauk, Aqueous and Jahman Brahman.
Charlie Button - lead guitar
Jerome Steele - lead guitar
Will Grandin - bass guitar
Rob Colpoys - drums