Shotgun Wedding Quintet plays Crocker Art Museum on Thursday
Jun 17, 2012 (The Sacramento Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Calling their hip-hop-inflected jazz band Shotgun Wedding Quintet makes perfect sense for the members of the popular Bay Area collective.
Even though the two most obvious influences of the group are hip-hop through its MC Dublin and jazz through its three multi-instrumentalists, the group merges many ideas in its music and performances. Shotgun Wedding makes its Sacramento debut Thursday at the Crocker Art Museum's Jazz in the Courtyard series.
Composed of Dublin (MC), Joe Cohen (sax, organ, synthesizer, piano), and pDubL (pronounced P-Double, on drums, sampler) and Adam Theis (bass, synth bass, trombone, tuba), the group is an offshoot of the much-larger Jazz Mafia, which includes the Realistic Orchestra and the Shotgun Wedding Hip-Hop Symphony among numerous manifestations of the musicians. Besides playing their own music, the musicians play with a who's who of modern music across all genres, including Carlos Santana, Beck, Thomas Dolby, Peter Rowan and KRS-One, to name a few.
Even though Shotgun Wedding works as a collective group, the music was written by Cohen and Theis either individually or together. Theis has been the central figure of the Jazz Mafia groups from the beginning. A first-rate composer and instrumentalist, Theis already has an acclaimed jazz symphony to his credit, but he enjoys the communal efforts of this smaller group.
"It's totally a collective," Theis said from his San Francisco home. "That's always been the premise of the group. We want it to be equal, collaborative."
The collaboration comes with its own issues and compromises, but Theis feels the result is worth it.
"The music we come up with, we would never come up with ever if it was just me, or just me and one other person. That's the beauty of it," he said. "Everybody has a stake in it and there's something really special about that, being in a project that's not the Adam Theis group or something."
The smaller band also has greater adaptability. Since all the players are multi-instrumentalists, they usually change instruments after each song.
"We don't have to do the same set every night," Theis said. "We talk about it every time we have a show -- to try to fit what we're playing to the venue."
Shotgun Wedding released its eponymous first album in 2007, and its newest recording, "Tales from the Barbary Coast," came out last year. Theis said there's a profound difference in the two albums.
"The first record was done in a real professional way. We did a lot of multi-tracking; we all weren't even there for every track," Theis said.
"It was a long process and we were really proud of the record, but we wanted to make the second one another way."
For "Tales" they recorded live in the studio as much as possible, trying to get the music done in as few takes as possible.
"Which is not as common in the hip-hop (and) rock realm, but in the jazz world it's very common. So we kind of married the two. What we wanted to avoid was something that doesn't reflect the live experience. It's basically channeling that live spirit, because we're a live band."
SHOTGUN WEDDING QUINTET
What:The Bay Area-based jazz and hip-hop collective lights up the Crocker Art Museum's Jazz in the Courtyard series this week.
When: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento
Tickets: $6 members, $10 college students and youths 17 and under, $12 nonmembers. Available online, at the museum admission desk, or by calling (916) 808-1182.
Information: (916) 808-7000 or www.crockerartmuseum.org
Call The Bee's Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120.
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