Thu, October 19, 2017
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pmTrees
This event is all ageshttp://www.treesdallas.com/event/1529992/
From the hazy atmospherics of “Time’s Up” and soaring riffs of “Program Select” to the urgent rhythms of “Shenanigans” and sprawling melodies of “Where You Are,” Sir Nebula finds TAUK introducing a cosmically inspired element to their music. “The album ended up taking on a more ambient kind of vibe than anything we’ve done before—there’s a spaciness in the songs that lets you get lost in the sound,” says Dolan. And while the album is endlessly hypnotic, TAUK also deliver the dynamic tension-and-release jams that have helped earn them a devoted following while drawing critical acclaim (the Washington Post, for one, praised TAUK for “creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that—thanks to a penchant for improv—offers limitless possibilities”).
Throughout Sir Nebula—the follow-up to their 2015 live double album HEADROOM—TAUK allow a more free-form, instinct-guided approach to steer their music into bold new directions. “With this record, we felt more comfortable in the studio and got to a new level where we were able to constantly feed off each other, so there was a lot of spur-of-the-moment improvisation that really helped shape the album,” says Jalbert. Adds Carter: “We made a point of trying to express ourselves freely and take risks even when that felt challenging and scary, instead of holding ourselves back and possibly taking something away from the songs.” At the same time, TAUK sharpened their songwriting to craft more intricately layered arrangements and powerfully intense grooves.
As with their past four releases, TAUK created Sir Nebula in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/engineer Robert Carranza (The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson, Taj Mahal). But in a departure from their previous work, the band made the album in one concentrated period rather than spacing the recording sessions out in between tours. Holing up at the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles, often pulling 12-hour workdays, TAUK ultimately found the revamped recording process hugely beneficial. “Everything just happened so naturally this time around,” says Jalbert. “I can’t think of one moment where it felt like anything was forced. We were all just completely focused and in the same mindset, which made it this incredibly fun and smooth experience.”
TAUK’s creative connection traces back to childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their first band in seventh grade and held practice in their school basement. After playing together in various projects over the years, the trio brought Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. “We gelled pretty quickly as friends and as musicians, and now there’s a connection onstage that’s unspoken,” notes Teel. “You just feel it from the energy within the band and from the response coming from the crowd—all these people in the same exact headspace.”
Since their formation, TAUK have shared stages with an impressive list of bands (including Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, and Tim Reynolds & TR3), in addition to appearing at festivals like Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Music Festival. That rigorous touring schedule has gone a long way in strengthening their chemistry, according to Carter. “We’re doing 140 shows a year and we pretty much live with each other, so there’s a healthy respect and trust and love happening there,” he says. “We all have a common goal and an understanding that this is something we’re compelled to do, and that’s definitely brought us close together.” It’s also helped TAUK develop a reputation as a masterful live act: “TAUK is unstoppable,” raved Live for Live Music. “If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.”
Now on the road again (with upcoming dates including a two-night stint at the Brooklyn Bowl and spots on the Hangtown Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and Catskill Chill Music Festival), TAUK also have plans to widen their output by composing scores for film and television. In the meantime, the band is focused on instilling their live show with the same kinetic energy and boundless passion that powered the making of Sir Nebula. “Growing up together as musicians and collectively going on this journey—that’s what makes this experience really special,” says Jalbert of TAUK’s continued evolution. “It’s like everything we’ve learned over the years has been funneled into this band, and now it’s taking shape in a really exciting way. We all love what we’re doing, and the band just feels like home.”
Their diligent roadwork has established Naughty Professor as a beloved live act. Weaving together complex, inventive compositions and loose, organic improvisation, the band honors their hometown’s jazz, R&B and brass-band traditions while looking to the future.
Naughty Professor raises the stakes on its new album Identity (Release date June 23, 2017). Where their prior four releases showcased the group’s knack for self-contained instrumental experimentation, Identity finds the band teaming with a stellar assortment of more than a dozen cutting-edge collaborators, whose vocal, instrumental and compositional contributions expand the music into new musical territory.
Identity’s prestigious gallery of guests includes Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, who’s featured on a pair of tracks, “Darker Daze” and “Sugar Coat,” which also features contributions from New Orleans legend Ivan Neville. David Shaw of the Revivalists lends his vocals on “Stray” and singer/guitarist Dexter Gilmore contributes on “I Can’t Sleep At Night.” Additional special collaborators include trumpet player Eric “Benny” Bloom of Lettuce, percussionist Mike Dillion, much-lauded jazz vocalist Sasha Masakowski and members of the renowned New Orleans horn outfit Soul Rebels, who turn up the brass on the album-closer “Funk 4 Lunch.”
“They’re not just guests,” explains Naughty Professor drummer Sam Shahin. “The collaborators on this album were chosen because we respected what they do and felt that they could be a complement to our ensemble.”
“When these kids first started coming up on the scene, I could tell right away that there was something very special about their energy and music,” David Shaw comments on his excitement to collaborate with Naughty Professor. “I believe that the sky has no limit for these boys.”
“My first impression of Naughty Professor was one of amazement,” Chali 2na notes. “New Orleans is full of musicians that are masters of their craft, and Naughty P is no exception. They are also perfectionists and students of the game. This is immediately apparent once you hear them play.
“I am loving the resurgence of jazz combined with this youthful mindstate that musicians have today,” Chali continues,” and Naughty Professor is pushing that envelope.”
The band recorded each track on Identity live in the studio, heightening the immediacy of the performances and solidifying the band’s connection with the guest collaborators. The sessions were also documented on video, with an eye towards releasing a video version of the album.
A wide range of musical impulses has driven Naughty Professor ever since the band members first convened in 2010, having met while students at Loyola University’s jazz program. The musicians’ potent collective chemistry quickly won attention on the New Orleans music scene. After graduating, they began touring, expanding their audience nationwide.
Naughty Professor’s first three albums—2013’s Until the Next Time, 2015’s Out On A Limb and 2016’s live In the Flesh—further raised the band’s national profile. Lauded by critics for having a musical “depth and vision far beyond their young years,” Naughty Professor’s name regularly appears alongside New Orleans’ veteran luminaries. In 2013, the band was nominated by Gambit’ Weekly’s Big Easy Music Awards for “Best Emerging Artist,” and for “Best Funk Band” every year since. Naughty Professor was also nomintated in 2015 and 2016 by Offbeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat Awards for “Best R&B/Funk Artist.” In the magazine’s most recent poll, bassist Noah Young and Drummer Sam Shahin were named finialists as the “Best at their Instruments,” furthering the band’s stellar musical reputation.
Identity continues Naughty Professor’s unyielding exploration of their home city’s eclectic musical landscape. “New Orleans is the reason that we were all able to come together, and it’s the reason we’ve been able to continue making music together,” says alto and baritone saxophonist Nick Ellman. “We all were drawn to the city, and we all have a tremendous respect for the history of the music culture in New Orleans. In no way are we a traditional New Orleans band, and this is not a traditional New Orleans record, but New Orleans’ musical and cultural traditions have everything to do with how we make music.”
New Orleans’ vital spirit is present throughout Identity, which combines artfully-crafted studio creations with material developed through live performance. “We like being adventurous and cerebral, but fun is also important,” Shahin concludes. “We operate with a jazz mentality, but we like verse/chorus structures. We definitely embrance the idea that we’re bridging the gap between the more thought-provoking side of jazz and popular mainstream music, and making the whole thing fun and accessible.”
The result is Identity, Naughty Professor’s most potent and ambitious musical statement to date. It is a record that, by collecting together diverse and disparate musical voices into a seamless whole, simultaneously honors the past and pushes into the future.
Naughty Professor are:
Ian Bowman – tenor saxophone
John Culbreth – trumpet
Bill Daniel – guitar
Nick Ellman – alto and baritone saxophones
Sam Shahin – drums
Noah Young – bass
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