Bryan Lopes Trio's debut CD for Blue Canoe Records, "Bryan Lopes Trio Volume 1", is a high energy expedition crossing from jazz to R&B to funk and back again. This trio also displays the talent of award-winning drummer Jeff Sipe (Jonas Hellborg, Leftover Salmon, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, featured in Modern Drummer August 2008) and multi-instrumentalist Neil Fountain on bass (The Fiji Mariners, Jimmy Herring, Megaphone Man).
Atlanta first-call session man Bryan Lopes works with numerous incarnations of experimental jazz jam bands as well as some of the greats of jazz, pop, rock and R&B music including Chick Corea, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Stone Temple Pilots and Don Henley among others. "Bryan Lopes is one of the most stylistically aggressive saxophonists living in the Southeast", says Jazziz writer James Rozzi. Lopes and crew lead listeners on a prismatic journey from jazz to funk to turbulent improvisation on this offering.
"Bouncy Pants" opens the release displaying the complex interaction between Sipe and Fountain as Lopes use of complex harmony suggestive of Michael Brecker. By the third and fourth tracks, "Happy Evil" and "Landau" the crew show their bop-chops with swinging rhythmic interaction and fantastic improvisatory stretches for which Lopes is famous. The album concludes with a funk jam of generous interplay and constantly changing tempos in "Terrelism" and the sultry "Two Pavilion Way" that conjures images of the lonely sax-man on a foggy, deserted street at 3am.
The first Blue Canoe Records release of the Bryan Lopes Trio does not disappoint. "Bryan Lopes Trio Volume 1" offers an adventurous journey into the modern jazz exploits of three of the most promising modern music-men of today.
Punk jazz improvisational trio Megaphone Man, pride themselves on a loose avant-garde approach in creating their unique blend of jazz music. Hailing from Athens Georgia USA, Megaphone Man consists of Neal Fountain on bass, Jeff Reilly on drums and Bryan Lopes on tenor saxophone. With carefully crafted thematic notes and rhythms, this young group of virtuosos demand as much from themselves as they do the overall group interplay of their contributing melodic ideas. Megaphone Man's debut CD recording "Live At The Tabernacle", is such an experience.
Recorded live at The Tabernacle Concert Hall in Atlanta, GA USA, Megaphone Man's performance captures their forty-five minute opening set with headliner and James Brown sideman, Maceo Parker. Instrumental songs such as "Razor Egg Hunt", "Reoccurring Nightmare", "Fat Gambling Liar", "Miles of Rust" and "Bubble Hat" not only demonstrate clever and witty song titles, they musically transform these titles into a work of art. Megaphone Man is not timid in taking chances with their improvisational skills, which should be evident by the fact their debut CD is a live recording and not a conceived studio recording.
"Megaphone Man has a style all their own," states Jazziz writer James Rozzi. "The manner in which these accomplished musicians approach a particular tune will drastically change from one performance to the next. In an effort to maintain their own interests, they create an abundance of spontaneous, razor-sharp musical maneuvers for their audience. One concert with these guys is like a lesson in improvisational wit and daring." With Megaphone Man's turn-on-a-dime approach, one particular song will metamorphose numerous times--harmonically and rhythmically--before coming to a close. The end result is an exciting foray with enough depth to please an audience of hard-core jazz fans--or the more laid back patrons of the jam band circuit.
Describing the music of Megaphone Man is difficult. Although all members shy away from calling themselves a jazz trio, their music contains full elements of jazz--and then some. "We all have wide varieties of music in our backgrounds," states Fountain, "so I think it best not to call ourselves a 'jazz band' per se." Whether it's hard-bop, funk, free-form, R&B, R&R, country…you name it and Megaphone Man has it in the mix somewhere. As Lopes (whose inspirations include Coltrane and Joe Lovano) is quick to inform, "Hey, if I want to quote Led Zeppelin, I'm going to quote Led Zeppelin!"
In 2001, Atlanta based culture rag and weekly newspaper 'The Creative Loafing', named Megaphone Man the "Best Jazz Band" in the Atlanta metro area. One only has to listen to "Live At The Tabernacle" to see why the Creative Loafing title holds true. The trio of bassist Neal Fountain, saxophonist Bryan Lopes, and drummer Jeff Reilly is genuinely articulate, highly artistic, intellectually stimulating, and perhaps best of all, full of surprises. If this debut CD recording is any indication into the future of Megaphone Man, many exciting performances and musical journeys await.
"E.J. Hughes is a talented musician who understands the beauties and intricacies of the music, an artist destined to make a valuable contribution to this art form" - Sam Rivers (Grammy Nominated Artist)
EJ Hughes has performed with:
* Joe Lovano
* Sam Rivers RivBea Orchestra
* Speech & Arrested Development
EJ Hughes CD, "Something To Say" is an amazing array of original tunes that will inspire the avid jazz fan and novice alike. "Something To Say" is a refreshing CD from this uniquely original saxophonist.