May 24, 2022
Acclaimed for creating concept albums that riff on gospel, heavy metal, and rhythm section-less big bands, Jacob Garchik (#1 Rising Star trombonist, 2018 Downbeat Critics Poll) has released his jazziest album yet, but one that is still imbued with his sense of experimentalism and surprise.
The result is the aptly titled Assembly, and it continues to show Jacob as a musician who enjoys the cutting edge in composition, production and performance. His long-time friends and collaborators Jacob Sacks (piano) and Dan Weiss (percussion) are joined by two other “heavies” – bassist Thomas Morgan and saxophonist Sam Newsome.
In February 2021, in the isolation of the pre-vaccine pandemic, Garchik felt the frustration of so many musicians, unable to perform or jam with his peers in almost a year. He brought together a stellar quintet to record small group jazz in a studio with enough isolation booths to record simultaneously. This initial assembly, playing blues and standards with no heads, created a swinging jam session atmosphere. For the next 3 months Garchik used these recordings for another type of assembly, cutting, pasting, transcribing, composing, reordering and reworking. The band met for a second time in May to record Garchik’s original compositions and collages based on, and sometimes overlaid atop, their own playing.
Garchik has honed his craft by playing trombone with the likes of Lee Konitz, Miguel Zenon, Henry Threadgill and Mary Halvorson. In continuing to defy classification with his music, he has arranged over 100 pieces for the Kronos Quartet and backs the Mark Morris Dance Group on Ethan Iverson’s “Pepperland.” He also sits in with the fiery Slavic Soul Party playing funked-up Balkan music, and with the Mexican brass band, Banda de los Muertos.
Podcast 905 is my conversation with Jacob, as we discuss how he came to create the loops and sounds for Assembly, why he decided to return to playing jazz trombone, and how his musicians responded to the challenges he presented to them. Musical selections from Assembly include “Bricolage” and “Idee Fixe.”
Jacob Garchik will present the premier of "Assembly" at Barbes in Brooklyn, NY on March 25, 2022. Click here for further information.