Ryan Keberle: Multicolored Tapestry
Keberle loves the way the individuals in the band interpret the music. These are players he admires.
Drummer Eric Doob he met through fellow trombonist Marshall Gilkes. Doob was on Keberle's last record, Heavy Dreaming. Roeder he met through Doob, as the two have been rhythm mates in a variety of settings. "They have a special chemistry that's pretty hard to find here in New York. I met Jorge and I knew immediately we were kindred spirits. He has impeccable technique and perfect intonation, which is something I really need in this band. His musicality is second to none. everything he plays. Whether it's a bass line, a one-chord vamp or a solo over a bebop tune, to me it's like jazz Mozart. It's just perfect. I wouldn't change one note if I could go back to correct it or make it better. His sense of melody and theme development, his sense of shape within a solo or a whole song, is stuff you can't really teach. He's a very professional musician."
Trumpeter Mike Rodriguez is making a big name for himself over the years, putting his sweet tone and strong chops on display in a variety of projects.
"On so many levels, he is one of my favorite trumpet players out there today," says Keberle. "He's got it all. The first thing people recognize is his sound. Especially for this band where his sound and my sound are creating everything. The melody, the harmony. In many cases it's even some of the groove. So the sound is so important, in terms of it being pleasant to listen to, and in terms of it blending with my own. The better the blend, the more overtones, the richer the harmony sounds. His time is unbelievably deep. Within every groove too. He can swing his butt off, but he's an excellent Latin player as well, and everything else.
"What I love about his playing the most is how creative his improvisations are. He never plays the same thing twice. I'm of the same mindset. Both of us are looking to create melodies that are fitting for that moment, are fitting for the song, as opposed to drawing from some well-defined and preconceived language. Not that we never play licks. Everybody does. But trying not to fall into those traps, as it's so easy to do."
The band's first official gig was January of 2012. He's been successful in getting steady work ever since and as a result, they achieved a chemistry the trombonist says is rare these days. The music sounds organic and the musicians are comfortable with one another.
"Every record that every musician puts out is something they're proud of, but this being my third record I felt it was something that I can say reflects who I amthough that's always true too an extentit reflects who I want to be. This music is so deep, so complex. These instruments are so difficult to master. It takes a long time, but I feel like I'm finally able to scratch the surface. This is music I really want to play. These are solos that I'm proud of playing, that if I had any choice, these are ideas I would choose to play." He says response to the album within the music community was stronger than the very good critical acclaim. "It's encouraging. It keeps you going. It helps quiet all those self-doubting voices we all have floating around in our heads."
"Need Some Time" starts as a slow moving melody backed by thunderous waves of rhythm, then shifts in tempo in mood to an open space. "Nowhere to Go, Nothing to See," is a simple groove that the horns make brighter with harmonic interplay and moving melodic solos. Billy Strayhorn's "Blues In Orbit" shines from an arranging standpoint, executed wonderfully.