Jazz Is PHSH’s Adam Chase Talks Meeting Phish Members & Interpreting Their Music

first_imgL4LM: Have you met any members of Phish? If so, have you discussed Jazz Is PHSH?AC: This past summer, Carl Gerhard introduced us to Page McConnell after Page was generous enough to offer tickets for us to attend Phish’s show in Philly. I was very impressed with Page and how much he cares for his fans and his craft. We did have the opportunity to briefly discuss Jazz Is PHSH and he was very interested and supportive. I look forward to finding out what he thinks of the new album once it comes out.I met both Trey and Mike [Gordon] before we had Jazz Is PHSH. Mike attended a performance I had with my original band in New York many years ago when I was in college. We performed with Wyclef Jean and another band Mike knew. After our set Mike hung out with us for a bit, even drank some tequila with us and discussed the family leavened guilt associated with having concerts booked on Jewish holidays. At that time I had just released my first record with the band, which certainly wasn’t my best work, but Mike did compliment our decision to have track numbers on the back cover without actually listing the song titles; certainly a bold move for a band with very few fans.When I met Trey, I was touring with the band Strange Design. Trey brought his daughter out to see the band that was opening for us at The Mercury Lounge. He checked out the band before he came and when we met him before our set, we discussed music in depth and the arrangements of Phish. I hope all four of them have a chance to hear our arrangements of their music. Hopefully they enjoy it and appreciate the amazing lineup of musicians that are paying tribute to them.L4LM: What makes their music so special to you that you wanted to do this tribute?AC: For me, Phish was the band that challenged the preconceived notion of how a song was supposed to be structured. I got into Phish before I got into jazz and classical music. Phish was a gateway to jazz and classical. Phish was also a gateway to Zappa for me. I imagine if I were born at an earlier time, Zappa would have been the guy that inspired me to look deeper at what can be done with music. I mean, Zappa does inspire me that way, however I never got a chance to see Frank live. I see Phish and Zappa’s music to be unique to the compositional approaches. The setting of rock and roll, written with classical theory and jazz infused improvisation, while being melodically pleasing and worthy of a devoted following, is very impressive.Jazz Is PHSH will be taking their instrumental versions of Phish songs on the road, starting with a Thanksgiving Celebration on November 26, 2016 at The Cutting Room in New York, NY. The All Star lineup assembled by The Chase Brothers (Adam and Matthew), will feature Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band, The Flecktones), Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy), Justin Stanton (Snarky Puppy), Adam Dotson (Rubblebucket), Felix Pastorius (Cindy Blackman Group, The Yellowjackets), Josh Myers (Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds), Jay Rodriguez (Miles Davis, Groove Collective) and Josh Thomas (With Lions) with some other special guests.There will be two performances that evening; an early show that will be mostly seated where the band will perform their upcoming album “He Never Spoke A Word” in its entirety. And a late show that will be a rager and will not be seated. Presales of the upcoming album will be available as well as some special merchandise for the evening. Tickets are available here.Jazz Is PHSH Tour DatesNov 26 @ The Cutting Room, New York, NYDec 11 @ Shaka’s Live, Virginia Beach VADec 13 @ Charleston Pourhouse, Charleston SCDec 14 @ Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta GADec 15 @ Southland Ballroom, Raleigh NCDec 16 @ Harvester Performance Center, Rocky Mount VADec 17 @ Salvage Station, Asheville NCDec 18 @ Broadberry, Richmond VAJan 19 @ Agave, Vail, COJan 20 @ The Aggie Theater, Ft. Collins COJan 21 @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver CO It’s an exciting time for the instrumental Phish tribute outfit, Jazz Is PHSH. Having just recorded their debut album, the project is set to embark on a fall tour with a performance this Saturday, November 26th, at The Cutting Room in New York, NY (tickets are available here). Not only does Jazz Is PHSH incorporate unique compositional elements into Phish’s music, but the band also features an all-star roster of musicians. Joining them for the upcoming tour will be members of Dave Matthews Band, Snarky Puppy, Miles Davis’ Quintet, James Brown Dance Party and so many more!With all of the excitement underway, we sat down with the band’s leader, drummer Adam Chase, for an inside look at the music of Jazz Is PHSH.L4LM: What makes the music of Phish compatible with Jazz?AC: Phish’s music is ideal for the interpretation that we have set out to create. The melodic sense of their compositions and vocal arrangements translates seamlessly to horn arrangements. Also, the theory involved in the compositions as well as the way they attack improvisation is laced with jazz and classical theory. The ability to solo collectively, over shapeshifting soundscapes, is a very essential part of jazz.L4LM: What are the main influences in Jazz Is PHSH’s arrangments?AC: We have taken somewhat of a Herbie Hancock approach to our interpretation of the definition of jazz. The funky backbone of our interpretations keep it upbeat and fun while the jazz elements in the arrangements and improvisation keep it appealing for even the most cerebral audiophile. We also love how Jazz Is Dead interpreted the music of the Grateful Dead with the help of Jimmy Herring, Alphonso Johnson, Billy Cobham, Jeff Sipe and so many other great musicians.L4LM: What’s your favorite Jazz Is PHSH arrangement?AC: My favorite arrangement is “46 Days” which is a collective achievement that has Chris Bullock and Anthony Wellington’s fingerprints all over it. What I love about “46 Days” is twofold. For one, it’s just sonically awesome and it features Dennis Chambers on the drums, one of my favorite drummers of all time. The other is how different the song is from the original version. “46 Days” is a rocking tune by all means. Through the collective talents of Jazz Is PHSH, we were able to reinvent the song into something that sounds like it could have been plucked off a Herbie Hancock Thrust style record.L4LM: Are any members of Phish involved with the project?AC: We would love to make that happen at some point, but currently they are not. We do though have Carl “Geerz” Gerhard on the record. Carl has performed with Phish several times as a member of The Giant Country Horns, Cosmic Country Horns and solo and other smaller formations. Carl has been on many Phish releases including Hampton Comes Alive. The album also features Michael Ray of Sun Ra and Kool & The Gang, who also performed with Phish on many occasions with the Cosmic Country Horns and is on Phish recordings including A Live One and Trey Anastasio’s Surrender To The Air. Joined on Surrender To The Air is Kofi Burbridge, who is also featured on the upcoming Jazz Is Phsh album. In addition, Chris Bullock of Snarky Puppy, who has played a significant role in the arrangements of Jazz Is PHSH, is featured on woodwinds on the latest Phish album, Big Boat.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *