Old New Things

Richmond’s small but endlessly creative jazz scene moves so quickly that if you zone out for even just a second, you will miss something great. To most people, the name Old New Things means nothing. Come April 5th that will change, quickly.

RVAJazz presents RVAJazzfest 2011 • Saturday, April 9, 2011, 9pm. Purchase tickets online »

Richmond’s small but endlessly creative jazz scene moves so quickly that if you zone out for even just a second, you will miss something great. To most people, the name Old New Things means nothing. Come April 5th that will change, quickly.

Without playing a single gig, the band has recorded its debut album Ghosts and is about to perform at the annual RVAJazzfest on April 9th. Its members are spectacular enough to land most gigs based solely on reputation, but the band’s combined product exceeds the talents of any one member.

Old New Things was born out of two different ideas. First, to perform instrumental Crosby, Stills and Nash covers with three part harmonies, and second, to perform Albert Ayler influenced music. Old New Things certainly draws influence from both concepts, but the product is more original. The music is certainly “song” oriented like CSN, and it features improvisation like Ayler, but its folksiness defines its character.

Any preconceptions about the musicians in this group are shattered as most of the musicians focus on secondary instruments. Leader Trey Pollard plays pedal steel and acoustic guitar while fellow leader Taylor Barnett plays the flugelhorn and muted trumpet. J.C. Kuhl plays his newly acquired bass clarinet alongside his tenor saxophone and clarinet. Adam Larrabee plays the banjo. The hardest working man in Richmond, Cameron Ralston plays bass alongside Turkey’s Hacettepe University jazz program founder and drummer Emre Kartari. (Drummer Brian Caputo will perform in his place at RVAJazzfest)

The unique instrumentation is the group’s greatest asset. The smooth sounds of pedal steal and flugelhorn create a soft cushion for the plucky banjo. Kuhl’s reedy bass clarinet dives through the full of range of the horn as it explores different textures. While the album certainly focuses on original compositions, the title track Ghosts is an Albert Ayler tune and it even has an arrangement of a Bach chorale.

By forcing themselves to play their less comfortable instruments, the members have different voices and are forced to play simpler. The tunes have a certain lyricism and a listenability that is sometimes lost with other types of jazz.

Don’t miss the band’s world premier at the RVAJazzfest. It is guaranteed to be a spectacle.

“Ghosts” will be available April 5, 2011 on iTunes, Amazon and bandcamp. Click to hear the band play “Americana”

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Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams loves music, basketball (follow @rvaramnews!), family, learning, and barbecue sauce.

2 comments on Old New Things

  1. Trey Pollard on said:

    Check out our bandcamp page to hear the record.

    http://oldnewthings.bandcamp.com/

  2. Fantastic job with the RVA JazzFest last week, Dean. An all-around great event with strong acts. A real eye-and-ear-opening experiences. The Eisenstadt band was a real revelation.

    Cheers!

    K

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