DUB THIEF is a Los Angeles based live dub band influenced by Jamaican all stars King Tubby, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Augustus Pablo, English Reggae groups including The Specials, The Police, The English Beat, as well as funky jazz groups like Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood, Galactic, and Nerve. They perform a repertoire which includes original cutting-edge compositions as well as arrangements of tunes by Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Beatles, Radiohead and cult classics from the 70’s and 80’s.
DUB THIEF evolved from the award-winning jazz/funk quartet Thelonious Dub, who broke new ground using effects and soundscapes against hip-hop and jazz beats. TDub released two CD’s on Cobraside Records - Thelonious Dub & Master Plan B. Their second release Master Plan B was written and produced by Joe Bartone and recorded by Paul Du Gre’ (L7, Weezer, Bill Frisell, Leo Kottke). MPB was heard on over 20 radio stations through out the USA and Europe and selected as top ten new artists by syndicated Modern Jazz Radio.
Guitarist Joe Bartone was the leader of the Boston band - Fat Buddah before coming to Los Angeles where he joined up with tenor sax player “Space Kyle” and Brandon Schmidt, bassist for Chord Four. Added later was keyboardist and harmonica player Trevor Steer, and drummer Mike Lockwood. Together they formulated a chemistry; nurturing ideas to flow freely among them. DUB THIEF’s final character would, however, not be complete without the magnetic vocal contribution of singer Lindsay Hough.
Bartone set out on a mission to use reggae as a vehicle for improvisation, incorporating traditional dub style studio effects into a group of virtuosic improvisers. This mission saw the materialization of DUB THIEF, who excites audiences all over southern California with their brand of funky reggae grooves and soulful arrangements. DUB THIEF is set apart by incorporating synths, live delays, deep bass and hypnotic rhythms in their music, creating a live dub sound which previously was only possible in studios.
DUB THIEF performs up to a dozen times a month at an ever expanding variety of venues in the greater Los Angeles area.
Joe Bartone - the guitar
Brandon Schmidt - effects, The Bass
Lindsay Hough - Sing
Trevor Steer - keys and Harmonica
Space Kyle - Tenor Sax
Mike Lockwood - The Drums.
as Dub Thief:
Fractured Glass 2011
Keep Your Soul 2011
Song For John Lurie 2011
as Thelonious Dub:
Master Plan B 2010
Thelonious Dub 2009
Dub Thief mixes things up
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The band formerly known as Thelonious DUB recreates classics By Bliss 10/13/2011 Like it? Tweet ...The band formerly known as Thelonious DUB recreates classics
By Bliss 10/13/2011
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Joe Bartone is nothing if not creatively rest-less. By his own account, he was exposed from a young age to a wide variety of artistic forms and sounds — funk, reggae, blues, rock, Dadaism, performance art — and says he always wanted to find new sounds and new ways of expressing himself.
“That’s been the theme of my entire life,” he says. “I’ve always sought out unusual musical situations.”
That creative curiosity fueled his instrumental jazz project Thelonious Dub, which subsequently evolved into Dub Thief, an equally adventurous ensemble that returns to Café 322 Friday night.
“Thelonious Dub wasn’t really a dub band the way I had heard dub,” Bartone comments, citing inspiration from classic dub artists like King Tubby alongside “more modern electronic versions” such as Bill Laswell and Thievery Corporation. “Getting jazz musicians to play dub is interesting, because once you create an ambient atmosphere, somebody starts soloing. …
“Thelonious Dub was really great. I thought it would be a simple project: play reggae versions of Monk tunes, and that would be fun. It quickly got exciting and I wanted to push the envelope, and I started writing tunes for it. That got even more exciting and we ended up doing a couple records. After that, it was like, what do we do now? My next thought was to make it a bigger band with vocals.”
Bartone’s initial reluctance to add vocals to his band’s improvisational mix (“A lot of people would ask to audition and I would flatly tell them no”) was bowled over by “one-take singer” Lindsay Hough’s “velvet affect” and warm tone.
“She’s incredibly honest about the way she delivers things,” he enthuses. “She’s trained but she never lost that wonderful innocence that people have when they’re not trained. Adele has that quality.”
When the vocal-friendly Dub Thief return to Café 322 Friday night, they’ll also bring singer Macain Treat, a horn section and tap dancer Chris Rutledge, whose footwork will serve as extra percussion for the band’s interpretation of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and a set of classic Police tunes. They’ll perform before projections of Shawn Sagen’s found footage of old military training films and dairy association film reels — “bizarre, strange footage,” Bartone says, that enhances the music’s psychedelic otherworldliness. Bassist Brandon Schmidt, a protégé of Charlie Haden, will run all their microphones through his board and remix them with dub effects.
“We’re most definitely a dub band at this point,” Bartone says. “What we really try to do is improvise as a group.”
Dub Thief put their own spin on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and the Police at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday at Cafe 322, 322 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Info: (626) 836-5414. dubthief.com
Record reviews: Burning Spear, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant, Thelonious Dub.
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Thelonious Dub, "Master Plan B" (Cobraside) With his current lineup, guitarist/leader Joe Bartone...Thelonious Dub, "Master Plan B" (Cobraside)
With his current lineup, guitarist/leader Joe Bartone slides away from Thelonious Dub's original jazz + reggae concept. Bartone's into funky fusion now, and there's something to be said for the wider palette.
T. Dub especially excel at a neglected form known as the Philly Soul Ballad. "On Wisdom Without Love" and "All My Friends (Hate Me)," they get a quiet indigo groove going, and you can almost hear the Courvoisier splashing into the snifter and the satin sheets flopping back on the mattress. The slower tempos open things up for the sensuality of Bartone's tripworthy guitar effects, the main element remaining from the first Thelonious Dub record. Drums rattle, bass thumps, sax wafts -- nice.
The rest of the album is more of a Medeski Martin & Wood thing, except substitute McLaughlin for Medeski. Drummer Sean Rainey digs that slappy New Orleans rhythm; standup bassist Brandon Schmidt is an active, precise jostler. Bartone and tenor man Space Kyle establish the front-line riffs -- separately, in harmony or in unison, the last being quite a trick, as them figures can be damn twisty. A slick melodian, Kyle's more than up to the challenge, gliding into his solos with easy authority. Bartone, meanwhile, slips like a spontaneous mongoose around the neck of his ax, his tone heavily shaded with distortion and chorus effects.
Thelonious Dub go for a '70s James Brown level of simultaneous tightness, funk and relaxation. They're not quite there yet, but with this level of musicianship, it can't be more than a few measures away. Catch 'em live in L.A.; they play around all the time.
Oh, and congratulations to Bartone for his "Judge Judy" appearance -- victorious without saying a word. Watch it on his MySpace Page.
"Master Plan B" Thelonious Dub
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"Master Plan B" Thelonious Dub It is with great pleasure to review music that's tantalizing to th..."Master Plan B" Thelonious Dub
It is with great pleasure to review music that's tantalizing to the imagination with its playfulness. Thelonius Dub's sound is creative play in every sense of the word playfulness - "play", "full" and lots of "ness" where play is the state of being.
There's a sense of brilliance in music that can make a complex mirepoire into child's play. My intuition is this takes a lot of intimacy with the foundations of music and turning it upside down and inside out then coming out at the end of it standing up, combined with a sense of boldness.
It's akin to any gymnast at the vault who jumps on the spring and summersaults and twists in the air then lands solidly on both feet (or often a slight hop or wobble.) This type of feat takes hours of practice and dedication and just belief that the sound one makes bears truth. There's a noetic quality to the music.
Thelonious Dub, (aka TDub) is a Los Angeles based band that formed in 2007. Their second CD release "Master Plan B" is made up of original songs. It's a follow up from their first release which was a collection of songs from the masters: Monk, Miles, Shorter and Mingus.
If Dub is defined as an eclectic mix of "deep sub-bass, clanging percussion, echoed beats dropping in the mix, and other-worldly effects phased through either channel" then TDub has evoked that chemistry into their sound. Experimental music can sometimes be premature for even the most avant-garde tastes, but TDub's sound is very groove oriented and multi-layered that can keep the attention locked into sound. It's a fusion of funk, fusion jazz, funky with some edgy rock from the guitar.
Joe Bartone's solos carry a lot of intelligence, meaning it’s a right-brain, subcounsious rooted sound that comes from everyone's collective ancient brain. We would all be able to connect to it. Spacie Kyle's sax solos are pretty much on the same wavelength, but I think more accessible and balanced with the left-brain logical mind. Sean Rainey's beats and rhythms provides the framework upon which all the others sounds can be laid upon. His playing ignites a lot of the inventiveness from all players.
This music has some laid back songs like "Sleepy Foot", but it's not laid back to put your imagination to sleep. It's just relaxed play with lots of subtle dischordant melodies which is the irony that this whole CD is all about. It's fully of irony which makes it very interesting and fun listening. Brandon Schmidt has a solo on the "All My Friends (Hate Me)" and displays a grounding effect to the otherwise ethereal feel of the song. It's one of my favorites on the CD. The last track “Nothing is Sacred Anymore” proves TDub’s sense of play with a song that’s parallel to The Doors “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”.
Here are some heartfelt words from Joe Baritone on the night of their CD release party last June (taken from their facebook page.)
"Hi Tonight is Thelonious Dub’s CD release party for our second recording “Master Plan B” People ask me what goes into recording a record. It requires a great surplus of disposable cash and an extraordinary amount of labor hours spent scrutinizing the smallest of details. ...This explains why I still drive a 1993 Toyota Pick-up with no AC and hitting 300,000 miles. The money for my new truck went into this CD. I did so without expecting to get my investment back. Why? Because good art out-lives me. I hold that as a better investment. I can’t think of a more intimate way to show you my true self than to make recordings. I find this the best use of my talents and assets. When I am working on a record, there is nothing else in the world. This mindfulness creates meaning for me. I value that." --------ANALYN REVILLA
Couples Watch: AnnaLynne McCord Celebrates Her 23rd Birthday with Kellan Lutz
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• Fergie and Josh Duhamel, enjoying a set by jazz/dub act, Thelonious Dub, in the lounge at West Res...• Fergie and Josh Duhamel, enjoying a set by jazz/dub act, Thelonious Dub, in the lounge at West Restaurant & Lounge atop L.A.'s Hotel Angeleno. Duhamel was especially enthusiastic, cheering on the band, while Fergie also said how much she loved then. The two also bought the band's CD and snapped a picture with another guest before taking off.
Record review: Thelonious Dub
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I was wondering how guitarist Joe Bartone’s reggae/jazz concept -- so loose, open and attractive in ...I was wondering how guitarist Joe Bartone’s reggae/jazz concept -- so loose, open and attractive in a live setting -- would translate to the studio. And of course it works great: If you can pull off all those electronic trip-outs and dynamic ups/downs when you’re only pretending to have faders under yer fingers, the mix will be a snap when you’ve actually got ‘em.
Though the lineup here is different from what you’ll hear onstage these days, Bartone’s arrangements ensure a level of consistency. And just as Jamaican musicians of the ‘60s and ‘70s adapted American soul and pop to their own rhythms, Bartone proves that jazz standards (often by Thelonious Monk) can take a special shine when subjected to an island buffing.
Bartone accents the angles of “A Night in Tunisia” with pushy off-rhythms, turns the perky “Well, You Needn’t” triumphantly spacy, even dares to add his own nursery-rhyme interpolation to the structure of “Blue Monk.” Every tune makes its own distinctive use of horns and effects, and each progresses through substantial changes. My favorite is the hyperabstract take on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” which nearly submerges the lazy/spooky melody in slow dub tides while framing the wash with sharp little percussion touches. Not surprisingly, the only anomalous number is Bartone’s sole composition, the revved-up urban boogie “Nanotite,” whose spaced-out middle, a pleasant rush in itself, sounds like a de rigueur conceptual nod in this context.
For a bandleader, Bartone isn’t much of a show-off, restricting his atonal leads to tasteful commentaries endowed with original, well-chosen amp tones. He’s also adept on that reggae staple the melodica (keyboard harmonica), applying its simple lines with a rhythmic confidence that would not shame master Augustus Pablo. For color, he also blends in sitar and electronic keyboards. Among the eight fine sidemen, Sean Rainey stands out for subtlety and sensitivity on the drum kit.
With a notion like this, one is always wary of cuteness, a grinning imp that could brand Thelonious Dub with the unwelcome tag of novelty music. That never happens, though. The sound is lighthearted at times, but always worth taking seriously. We’re lucky to have Bartone knocking around L.A. restaurants and clubs, usually for free. Check here for song samples and appearances in your area. And buy a copy of this record.
This Saturday, Oct. 24, Thelonious Dub play their official release party at Home Restaurant, 2500 Riverside Drive, LA 90039; 7pm; no cover.
T. Dub also appear Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Blue Palms Brew House, 6124 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 7:30pm; no cover; (323) 464-3227; wwwbluepalmsbrewhouse.com.
Monk and Miles and playing all over Eclectic ensemble Thelonious Dub plays Brenart, Buccaneer and Jax this week
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By Bliss 10/16/2008 First impressions count, as guitarist Joe Bartone knows full well. His band's...By Bliss 10/16/2008
First impressions count, as guitarist Joe Bartone knows full well. His band's name, Thelonious Dub, intrigues from the outset, paying equal homage as it does to both jazz genius Thelonious Monk and reggae's musical spawn. Thankfully there's more than just surface appeal to engage music hounds.
As esoteric as the music can sometimes be, the Glendale-based band is rarely boring, whether digging into Monk's "In Walked Bud," Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" or inverting the melody and chopping the rhythm of the Police's "When the World is Running Down." Bartone's made it a mission to ensure he and his bandmates sidestep the music-as-math mindset that emasculates too many jazz ensembles, and rock covers and reggae jams help humanize their music.
Thelonious Dub has fast become the house band of choice at Brenart in Old Pasadena, and is also carving out a niche on the local music scene with a surprisingly steady string of gigs in the Greater Pasadena area. It's rare these days to see any club band securing such a high volume of work inside the county limits, but T-Dub — Bartone, drummer Sean Rainey, bassist John von Seggern, sundry horn players and other guests — has fashioned an arguably distinct sound that's starting to generate some buzz.
When T-Dub set up in the living room-like corner at Brenart one quiet Friday last month, von Seggern steered the bottom end on his futuristic-looking bass as Bartone wrung maximum mileage out of his hollow-bodied Gretsch guitar and a serious pedal-board setup; the stompbox-triggered atmospherics added an ear-pleasing shimmer that helped offset the bass, which, on that night at least, was dialed too high in the mix. Individual songs (mostly covers) sometimes lasted 10 minutes or longer, and excitement built as solos crescendoed and then segued into two-instrument dialogues.
Credit for T-Dub's unique vibe goes largely to Bartone, a survivor of childhood spinal meningitis whose early motor-skill difficulties influenced his approach to playing guitar. Even now, years after he's mastered chords and technique, his playing is still punctuated by stuttering lead lines and unusual voicings. Style's the result of personal limitations, as the old saw goes, and these guys have style to burn.
Thelonious Dub plays the Buccaneer Lounge, 70 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, at about 9 p.m. Friday; call (626) 355-9045 for info. The band also plays at 7 p.m. Saturday at Brenart Restaurant and Wine Bar, 53 E. Union St., Pasadena, (626) 796-7460, and again at
7 p.m. Tuesday at Jax Bar & Grill, 339 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 500-1604. www.myspace.com/theloniousdub
Thelonious Dub gives jazz a jolt
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Thelonious Dub gives jazz a jolt 10/08 THELONIOUS DUB 7 tonight Brenart Cafe Gallery, 53 E. Un...Thelonious Dub gives jazz a jolt
Brenart Cafe Gallery, 53 E. Union St., Pasadena
No cover charge
Also: 7 p.m. Saturday, Cafe 322, 322 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, (626) 836-5414. www.cafe322.com. No cover charge.
And: 8 p.m. Sunday Buccaneer Lounge, 70 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. (626) 355-9045, both No cover charge.
When you go to see Thelonious Dub at one of its local shows, expect something different. Guitarist Joe Bartone and drummer Sean Rainey of Glendale and Hollywood bassist John von Seggern serve up a blend of improvised jazz, reggae and jam band.
Thelonious Dub has played throughout Southern California, including at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles and the Pasadena Jazz Institute and Red White + Bluezz in Pasadena. The band has also played for many charity events benefiting organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Altadena Arts High School.
Thelonious Dub was founded in 2007 by Bartone, who had been playing in the indie band Fat Buddha and was looking at his future.
"I wanted to keep playing until I was 70, 75, and I couldn't picture myself being in a rock band at that age," Bartone said. "So I had
to think about what else I could do at that age and what I would be interested in. The thought came to me was what I really wanted to do was something that was real improvised."
He pitched the idea of playing jazz great Thelonious Monk's songs with a reggae base to his friend, drummer Miguel Louis Berrera (Louis Cruz Salsa Band), who thought it could work.
"The reason we chose Monk tunes, they lend themselves to reggae really well, first of all," Bartone said. "If we do Monk tunes, we will be able to learn a lot from real jazz and we'll be able to attract really good players."
Thelonious Dub began as a six-piece group, but it wasn't financially feasible, so it became a trio, often joined on stage by a long list of guests. As the band changed, so did its sound with the reggae grooves gradually blending into the jazz influences. Today, most of Dub's performances feature classic tunes by Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Charles Mingus, as well as pop and rock covers such as Coldplay's "Clocks" and the Police's "When the World is Running Down", along with a few originals.
Bartone picked up the guitar at age 12 and played it upside down for a year before learning how to hold it correctly. That was the least of his challenges.
"I had spinal meningitis as a kid which left me with motor control problems," Bartone said. "I couldn't hold a pencil, I couldn't draw a straight line. When kids were learning how to print I was still learning how to hold a pencil properly. I was very far behind. I was the first kid to flunk typing in my high school."
The guitar was a struggle for him, but he persevered and later studied production at Berklee College of Music in Boston. That's where he discovered jazz.
"I understood mathematics and the construction of writing and arranging," Bartone said. "I knew a billion chords. I could talk and write and read all the academic portions of music. I didn't have the technical ability."
Bartone made up for his physical weakness by using guitar effect pedals. Then he began listening to Ornette Coleman and other free-form musicians who mainly made sounds and used their instruments percussively. This encouraged him to put bebop aside and consider becoming a textural musician.
Finally, Bartone met a music teacher who made him do nothing but practice scales for four hours a day every day for a year. He sat with a metronome and slowly trained his fingers. This, along with the effects pedals, gave him a unique style and led to his first job as a composer for Brown University's modern dance department.
Bartone worked in producing and composing, but with his style, he couldn't find a stable job as a musician. He is now a film compressionist for Crest Digital, where he makes films and television shows into playable loop files for the airlines, but Thelonious Dub is never far from his mind.
"In order to do this project I have to soak myself in music so I have an iPhone and an iPod and I'm pumping jazz into my ears probably six to eight hours a day," Bartone said.
Bartone is gearing up to write more original material for Thelonious Dub as soon as he finishes its current project, an album of Thelonious Monk cover tunes. He hopes to have the effort out by the holidays.
Bartone fills out his time by reaching out to people in programs for help with addictions to drugs and alcohol. He conquered his own demons and has discovered the joy of being of service.
"There was a spiritual change in myself, in my life, and it comes from being grateful to be useful," Bartone said. "Most of my life I was so self-absorbed, so wanting to be a success, trying very hard. I was a good guy, but there was something that was skewed and that was a lack of interest in helping other people."
Bartone lived a life where everything he did was about getting something in return and has realized that helping others has its own reward. He has taken this ethic to heart not only for himself, but he also uses Thelonious Dub in benefit efforts for schools, churches and charitable organizations.
"It keeps me humble; it makes me happy," Bartone said.
LIVE REVIEW: THELONIOUS DUB AT HOLLYWOOD STUDIO BAR & GRILL, AUGUST 25.
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Joe Bartone admits slapping dreadlock wigs on Monk and Miles was a market-driven package. It's no co...Joe Bartone admits slapping dreadlock wigs on Monk and Miles was a market-driven package. It's no comedy act, though. Dubwise jazz lights a fire to illuminate the guitarist's highly personal cultivation.
Right out of the gate, Thelonious Dub began to regroove our brains via the uncontroversial engine of Miles Davis' "All Blues." Over the simple swing-waltz rhythm, regular guy Jack Chandler applied his clean soprano sax to some decidedly abnormal note choices as Bartone, looking like a vacationing Shriner in cargo shorts and straw porkpie, laid down strange chorus-effected chords. When it was Bartone's turn to solo, it became clear who had inspired Chandler's liberal approach to scales: Out of the hollow-body pealed successions of "wrong" notes (accented with occasional Floydian twists of the whammy bar) that defied us to stay on our chairs. Bartone wandered into the basic chord structure once in a while, too, just to show he knew where it was, coming off like a tightrope walker juggling a tennis ball and a bowling pin. And he never lost balance. Really fun.
In tandem, Bartone and Chandler haltingly pretended they were trying to remember Monk's "In Walked Bud" before the whole quartet snapped into a quick Latin-reggae beat. The rhythm section really asserted themselves here: young Sean Rainey snapping his drumsticks with loose limbs; thin John Von bobbing his Maynard G. Krebs chin tuft as he nailed the bottom on his '70s-vintage handmade electric standup bass, which resembled a tuna coffin. Chandler changed to alto, its mildly quacking tone similar to his soprano's. Bartone whacked some steely dub echo effects. And the groove grew deeper and deeper.
More Monk ensued: Bartone strumming a drone chord behind Chandler's incisive solo on the hopping "Bemsha Swing," the group expanding further into Ganges territory on the sleepy "'Round Midnight." For the latter, Bartone pulled out his "electric sitar"; the onetime Rhode Islander later explained that it's a more luthier-crafted version of an instrument Danelectro made for Sears back in the '60s, with two necks -- one an electric guitar that gets sitarish buzz from a flat bridge, the other like a mandolin open-tuned to enable sarod-like arpeggios. It was a great effect (Barone imitated drone method by anchoring his pinkie on one fret and moving the other fingers of his left hand around the strings) and a sensitive reimagining of the Monk classic.
T.D. tripped most expansively on a psychedelic mariachi approach to Coldplay's "Clocks," and rocked steadiest on "Blue Monk," where Barone's dubby guitar and Chandler's bluesy soprano broke up the sway with effective tension/release.
For visual hookitude, the guys set up on Persian rugs and Rainey draped his kit with light-studded ropes. You get it all with Thelonious Dub: brain fun, originality, crack musicianship. See 'em, hear 'em, dig 'em.
This was my first visit to Gower Gulch's Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, whose eclectic bookings (courtesy of Dolores Peterson) represent a major addition to the Tinseltown entertainosphere. The post-deco interior, the airy ambience and the good seafood (I had an ahi sandwich) lay out a big fat welcome mat, and I will return. Write email@example.com to get on the mailing list.
LAist Interview: Thelonious Dub
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By Christine N. Ziemba September 14, 2008 Joe Bartone of Thelonious Dub Thelonious Dub is a Glen...By Christine N. Ziemba
September 14, 2008
Joe Bartone of Thelonious Dub Thelonious Dub is a Glendale-based instrumental trio that plays a jammy mishmash of jazz, reggae and pop, often featuring covers of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus – in between their original compositions and a few other surprises. “T-Dub” draws inspiration from groups and artists like Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation and Sly & Robbie.
The band was formed last year by guitarist Joe Bartone, and joined by John von Seggern on bass and Sean Rainey on drums. The three have played more than 100 shows throughout SoCal in their short existence, including a gig tonight at the Santa Clarita Valley’s Democratic Headquarters grand opening from 4-6 pm (address 23119 Lyons Ave., Newhall). And tomorrow night at The Mint.
We caught up with Bartone for a quick Q&A:
Describe Thelonious Dub's style in 10 words or less.
I call it Metro Jazz Dub. It is a complete misunderstanding of both jazz and reggae.
Why not play straight jazz?
Frankly, because others do it so well. There is no point to my playing it. Besides, to master an art form that has already been presented achieves nothing - offers nothing.
Why not play pop and get a lead singer?
Well, I did that for along time. I was the front man for Fat Buddah, one of the cute indie bands in New England. We did two self-releases. But when I hit 35, I assessed where I was heading. I could see putting another 15 years in songwriting and could see me with a solo acoustic - but I could not see me doing it at 75. I wanted to be playing guitar at 75. So I had to think hard what I would like to be playing at that age. At that age all I would care about is improvisation. I could not imagine what I would have to sing about that I would feel a need to share. But I could see me living in the moment of pure improvisation until my final breath. The next question was - how was I going to change musically to accomplish this?
As far as singers go, I prefer to write my own lyrics and do not like most singers who are looking for a guitar player like me.
You formed only last year but seem to already play A LOT of gigs locally. How did you get plugged into the music scene so quickly? (Because I don't think you're from LA?)
I was playing the Artivist film Festival in Hollywood in 2005. It was a straight ahead gig. I was bored. The band was bored and the audience was bored. Everything about it was boring especially the pretense that we were all having a good time. I was soloing and looking out into the audience. We exchanged mild smiles. I realized that this is not what people want to hear at a film festival party. They want something more engaging - but not too far to the front. Not distortion and vocal, but not wall paper and tedium. they want to sway and groove, but all they get is smooth jazz (read yuppie f**k music) and that there had to be some way that I could be improvising and interacting with my band and the audience can feel swept away without demanding their undivided attention. So on stage it hit me - go back to my roots. I was always playing reggae gigs and loved delay pedals. I played Ju-Ju music with a West African band. I played in noise bands. I loved indie rock and radio head. I need to mix this stuff together in a new form of jazz. A Metro Jazz Dub. That's what I call it.
There's a socially conscious message about the music posted on your MySpace page. Tell us a little about that.
I do my share of community help. I spent most of my life doing nothing. Maybe I voted. Maybe I didn't . People that got involved with political and social protests where whack jobs to me. But after years of watching the news and doing nothing but partying, I suddenly noticed how much my neighborhood was affected by the changes I never stood against. People losing their jobs on my street. People losing their houses on my street. People hungry on my street. I had sat on my butt so long, that the issues had come to my very door…So we offer ourselves to worthy causes to play free shows. It's not a lot, but it is a start.
If you could bring back one of the jazz greats to sit in with you guys for one night only...who would it be and why?
Great question...Joe Zawinul or Thelonious Monk? Zawinul! Keyboard player for Miles and Weather Report. I am not sure Monk would dig what we are doing. I would like to think he does, but really, how can I play a Monk tune right with Monk on stage with me? He plays Monk right.
But Zawinul - he is the innovator that made this sound happen. He was the trip in "In A Silent Way," and he loved texture. He developed a way of playing that encourages others to inter-wind with him as opposed to play in front or in back of him. That is what I am trying to do.
Where can LAist readers find your music?
I am trying hard to finish my Thelonious Dub's first recording hopefully by Christmas. Youc an find live video on Youtube keyword search Thelonious Dub and I have some stuff posted at myspace.com/theloniousdub. If you want to join our mailing list, send your info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thelonious Dub gives jazz a jolt
By Michelle J. Mills, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 10/09/2008 02:42:56 PM PDT
Thelonious Dub featuring Joe Bartone, from left, Sean Rainey and John Von Seggern will play at Brenart Cafe Gallery in Pasadena tonight, as well in Sierra Madre at Cafe 322 Saturday and the Buccaneer Lounge on Sunday.
PDF RiderStage Plot
There are no upcoming dates at this time.