Brotherhood of Groove
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Brotherhood of Groove

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The best kept secret in music

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Brotherhood of Groove, Big Sam's Funky Nation & New Orleans Juice :: 02.23.06 :: R&R :: New York, NY

The exclusivity factor of the meatpacking district has always been daunting. That is until I found out R&R, a little venue on 14th St. and 9th Ave. had booked my kind of show. Walking down the dark stairs into the basement, there was a slightly illegal, speakeasy feel. Mirrored walls and the tail end of a JANE magazine issue release party added a sense of the abnormality. However, an abundance of Mardi Gras beads and a loose stage setting soon relaxed me.

Louisiana musicians have been paramount in keeping the plight of New Orleans alive in the aftermath of Katrina. Their continuous touring is a constant reminder that many people still have no home to return to. In the week before Mardi Gras, the support had stepped up again, led by Brotherhood of Groove's five-state tour with New Orleans Juice and Big Sam's Funky Nation.

With Tipitina's regulars Juice opening the show, there was a party atmosphere and the sense that floats might come through at any moment. Big Sam sat in for a moment, getting so involved in the tunes that his slide flew off his trombone and into the audience. The air was warm and humid, at least inside.

Big Sam's Funky Nation is a rotating group of musicians based around Sam's extraordinary trombone playing and over-the-top personality. A New York City favorite, word of his gig spread fast, bringing in well-informed music lovers to enjoy his exuberant show. With a solid jazz background, his band has an amazing ability to improvise.

Brotherhood of Groove's Brandon Tarricone kept up a steady stream of chatter. He encouraged the audience to let loose and to have a good time. They featured a strong mix of percussive bass, horns, and guitar, keeping it funky and fun till the late hours of the night - just like they do back "home" in NOLA.

- writen by Gabriela Kerson, Jambase.com


From start to finish, BOG Style parties down and parties hard. Led by guitarist/singer-songwriter Brandon Tarricone, Brotherhood of Groove lay out some foot-moving, fresh and funky chops. Tarritone has hand-picked the musicians he wanted to play on each track throughout the record, including Ivan Neville (Neville Bros) and Marco Benevento (The Duo). In fact, the rotating door of musicians seems to add to the multi-grained party ambience. Recorded during JazzFest 2004, BOG Style involves heart and soul New Orleans grooves infused with an element of the East Coast rawness. From guitar licks by Brian Jordan (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe) to percussion by Jon Massing, the CD proves to be a conglomerate of funk. The album would be perfect to throw on at a party, and it even kept me going during my workouts.

“Uptown” gets the party started, and it feels like a live track even though it’s not. Bottles clank in trashcans, and the murmur of conversations pervade this swinging track that sets the mood for the entire disc. Stewart McKinsey (bass) and Steve Bernstein (Sex Mob, trumpet) join the fray as Ivan Neville contributes his organ and clavinet stylings. As the track changes to “Get Up!” the listener feels the urge to do just that as the saxophones of Geoff Vidal (Sex Mob) and Sam Kininger (Soulive) get involved. “Wookie World” brings Benevento onto the scene with his East Coast organ funk that blends so well with the vibe being generated. For once, the sentence “It’s disco time!” turns out to be a good thing.

“Feeling Soul” keeps with the flow but slows things down a bit. Featuring the harmony vocals of Christina Machado, this song evokes the soul of a N’awlins fish fry ending. Don’t think for a minute that the party is breaking up though. “New Orleans Mambo,” written by Cajun pianist Michael Pellera, gets things bumping. Next, Benevento comes back for an excellent cover of Grant Green’s “Windjammer.” This track is another highlight from the album and also features Tarricone wailing on a brilliant guitar tangent. The catchiest track, and my personal favorite, “Green Zombies” throws a little “Thriller” and a little Creole funk together for a somewhat spooky tune. I cannot help but wonder if “Green Zombies” are supposed to be “Pot Heads,” but something tells me no (even though it fits). Throw this on at the next Halloween party, and set your sensors for “eerie.”

The climax of the disc is the last track “Ridiculous.” Based on a quote by George Gershwin featured in Duke Ellington’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” this very familiar music phrase becomes the basis for a ridiculously good groove. All in all, to score a copy of this disc means to score an all-access pass to a continuous party for the ears.

Sarah Moore

- writen by Sarah Moore, Jambase.com


By Dave Terpeny

The Louisiana State Museum at the Old U.S. Mint defines New Orleans jazz as:

"A performance art based on the musical elements of syncopation, improvisation, blues scale, call-and-response, rhythm, tone color, harmony and interpretation."

I define New Orleans jazz as:

“Swinging, stomping music that makes you want to dance.”

I think both are correct really, on different levels. But either way, New Orleans was the birthplace of Jazz and sent out such emissaries as Pete Fountain, Louis Armstrong, Sydney Bechet and Buddy Bolden into the world to spread their unique groove, as described above. And it has remained a bastion of jazz since then with venues like Preservation Hall, Palm Court and Funky Butt jiving’ till all hours of the night.

So it is no surprise that a band like Brotherhood of Groove should be born into such a place. The brainchild of Brendan Tarricone, this traveling musical “commune” blends elements of that famous New Orleans jazz sound into a gumbo of Detroit funk, Austin songwriting and San Francisco improvisation.

In fact, the marching band sounds of the rotating horns, world beat percussion, swampy keys and dipped in hot sauce lead guitar of Tarricone all combine to make your ears water and your jaws drop. They trade licks, change rhythms at the drop of a hat and, in true New Orleans tradition, wrap unforgettable melodies around your head that make you get up and dance.

So take a train, plane or automobile down to New Orleans, find the Brotherhood of Groove and experience
- writen by Dave Terpeny, Kynd Music Magazine


It is nearly impossible to catalog or describe all of the amazing moments of any Jazzfest, no matter neither how many hours spent awake nor performances witnessed. Here in Crescent City the stuff of legend happens all day, all night, for two weeks, and so many truly amazing moments are lost in the shuffle of dizzying, mind-blowing events. I will try to keep the discussion basically music, and save the early morning debauchery at Igor’s, Brandon’s, and the crazy pagan dancing rituals for another time.
DISCLAIMER: Please Read
I will try to detail some truly transcendental moments from my Jazzfest 2002 experience without being critical or saying what’s best or worst, just one boy’s perspective on how his mind was blown day in and night out. This is just my opinion, nobody else’s. I saw what I could, tried to make it everywhere, and gave it my best little leaguer effort. Just honest attempt to relay the truly monumental events I witnessed with many others, from my ever-tweaking perspective. I welcome opinions, additions, corrections and any general insight from those who shared in the fun.

A BROTHERHOOD ODYSSEY
Old Point Bar, Mon 04.29 Late
After a slamming Garage a Trois show, the trio of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and the core of Brotherhood of Groove squared off in a tag team free jazz duel that had the young bucks reaching for the sky. JFJO set up on stage left, and part of BOG on the right, and BOG’s Brandon Tarricone traded sonic riddles with JFJO’s Rhodes tactician Brian Haas each of their backing bands provided support and artillery. One incredible highlight was after a forty minute bold and meandering free jazz exploration, Brandon offered the head to Miles Davis “In a Silent Way” as an olive branch to Haas, and the keyboardist/mad scientist jumped on the vehicle while traveling warpspeed. The peace offering was accepted in blazing fashion in the form of a moving rendition of this classic. The double drumming madness of JFJO’s Jason Smart and BOG’s monster Dan Caro pulverized the bass gymnastics tag team of BOG’s Bearded and JFJO’s wizard Reed Mathis. This truly united the clans and the branch now fortified and ridden freely to the moon and back drawing on McLaughlin, Deodato and Buckethead. Totally off the cuff at about 5 am. The JFJO/BOG collabo was awe-inspiring and draining as each player screamed their hearts out through their hands to the silenced onlookers who lapped it up with tranquil appreciation. This was the shape of things to come...

GARAGE A TROIS
Riverboat Cajun Queen, Tue 04.30, 1:30am or so...
“THIS CLUB IS MOVING ON WATER!!!!” exclaimed a raging Skerik as the Cajun Queen parted the Mississippi at what seemed like un-Godly speeds. Stanton Moore assaulted his kit in typical NOLA shuffling boom-bap and Charlie Hunter laced serene Leslied chords over a Brooklyn style bass lick that begged for Buckshot. Instead, the band keenly observed the Love Boat vibe, easy skanking, and Cash Money Style “ backing that ass up” going down to their smooth soundtrack and seamlessly dropped the D’Angelo puff and stuff anthem “Brown Sugar.” Charlie was just winning ladies for all of us with straight sexy guitar strumming, and Mike Dillon even getting in the mix with psychedelic, romantic vibraphonics.

Skerik couldn’t allow the “love-in” to go on for too long, and before we knew it, he was berating Charlie for, amongst other things, being up for 4 days, talking shit to him about his wife, his playing, and his wardrobe, etc. - all in the name of a good natured ribbing. Well, like the immortal W. Axl Rose said “If you wanna antagonize me, antagonize me motherf$%^&r!” For Mr. Hunter, such trash talking would provoke an improv blues number straight from the dank, dimly-lit watering holes that litter the Crescent City, supported by some gritty twelve bar bottom end from his henchmen.

And blaze Charlie did, so emotive a blues bar that former TJ Kirk compadre Will Bernard felt the need to put his drink down, excuse himself from a myriad of ladies, and get in the mix. Bernard and Charlie traded licks and smiles while Skerik laughed devilishly. Dillon and Stanton fired away like trigger happy soldiers and the pace quickened to a deadly rate, somewhat foreshadowing the next evening’s slamming earthquake.

And we danced, like a wave on the ocean romance!. By now, the vibe made a hard left, and before one could fumble “Garage a Trois” out of their gaping mouths, the Cajun Queen had transformed itself into a nuclear dance party assault vessel careening the Mississippi River looking for a fight. This four-way cross is way heavy, even for NOLA standards.

GARAGE A TROIS
Tipitina's, Wed 05.01, 2:30 am
After another raucous Garage A Trois gig at the epicenter of Fess shenanigans, a familiar face walked upon the stage and handed a bottle of mineral water to Skerik, turned and faced the crowd, and with a nervous wave and geeky smile retreated to the backstage area. Skerik sipped the mysterious aqua an - writen by Brian Gets, Jambase.com


If the seats are cleared as the Brotherhood of Groove starts playing, things are going as planned. Those who rise from their chairs are headed for available floor space to mix it up with the band's infectious rhythms. For those who remain seated, there's a payoff as well: The funk that anchors the New Orleans outfit's sound is typically topped with clever, intricate "heads" and packed to the gills with fresh, energetic improvisation laced with fusion or jazz as often as classic funk. It's jam band meets the JB's on a Crescent City street corner, aesthetically suitable for all parts of the anatomy.

Brainchild of Big Easy guitarist Brandon Tarricone, the Brotherhood includes a core lineup of bassist Stewart McKinsey and drummer Jon Massing. The band's "communal" horn section has boasted experience with Phish, Sun Ra, and Kool and the Gang. Tarricone himself shows up on disc as both a fiery, engaging soloist and a solid ensemble player.
- writen by Duane Verh, Cleveland Scene


In the crazy world of touring bands, some times it takes a musician longer to make it than it should. That’s truly the case with guitarist Brandon Tarricone. The New Orleans-based jazz fusion musician has the chops and the composition skills to be a huge success but is still on the fringes of stardom.

Brotherhood of Groove guitarist Brandon Tarricone. The jazz-funk band from New Orleans will kick off Memorial Day weekend with a show at Murphy’s in Boone this Friday.

One of the reasons for that is that his talented band, Brotherhood of Groove, is less a concrete set of musicians than a free-flowing tribe of guests. The revolving door of musicians has led to some inspirational music but has not lent itself to the rigid world of recording contracts.

After a long absence, New Orleans’ Brotherhood of Groove will return to the High Country this weekend for a concert at Murphy’s in Boone on Friday, May 28th. The show starts at 10pm and admission is $10 per person.

The current lineup of Brotherhood of Groove includes Tarricone on guitar, Stuart McKinsey on eight and ten string electric bass, John Massing on drums and Geoff Vidal on saxophone and flute. The band is currently touring with at least one extra horn player.

Brotherhood of Groove takes the modern jazz groups such as Medesky, Martin and Wood or the Jon Scofield Group and infuses it with some much-needed New Orleans Funk. The band blends elements of traditional horn-laden jazz with spacier fusion type jazz and throws in bits of reggae, rock and Caribbean stylings.

Over the past few years Brotherhood of Groove has featured a rotating cast of musicians with guitarist Tarricone the common denominator. Like Scofield—or even jazz fusion master John McLaughlin—Tarricone has that ability to make everybody in the band fit into his vision while giving them ample opportunity to shine on their own.

Brotherhood of Groove released its debut album, Pocket Full of Funk, three years ago and Tarricone and company have been working in the studio to complete a follow up this spring. Pocket Full of Funk is full of great driving jazz with songs like the heavy rhythmic “Degrees of Separation” giving way to the more mellow moods of “Kaia’s Waltz.” Like McLaughlin’s classic Mahavishnu Orchestra albums, Pocket Full of Funk features both screaming electric pieces and soothing acoustic ones. Tarricone’s instrumental “Sunrise Over Madrid” is one of the most accomplished jazz compositions by a young musician in recent years, yet comes across to the listener as a gentle ballad.

It is no wonder why Tarricone is consistently voted one of the top ten guitarists in the country in the annual Jamband Readers Poll.

Lovers of modern jazz—or lovers of original music—should definitely plan on seeing this band at one of its increasingly rare club shows. Somewhere down the line America will realize that Tarricone is one of the most talented new guitarists in the world. - writen by Jeff Eason, Mountain Times, Boone NC


Discography

Pocket Full of Funk - 2001

BOG Style - 2004

over 20 live shows available for download at www.brotherhoodofgroove.com

BOG get steady radio play on New Orleans radio stations, college radio around the country, and listener supported radio around the world. seach Brotherhood of Groove on google and see the lists that come up.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Brotherhood of Groove is a high-energy band that has elevated the New Orleans Funk sound to new and exciting levels of creative complexity. The BOG’s unique style fuses soulful New Orleans brass band vocals with old school funk, rock, reggae, and modern and traditional jazz. In just five years, the BOG has developed a complex and sensational repertoire of over 90 songs which has generated a large and loyal national fan base. Their albums, Pocket Full of Funk and BOG Style, the extensive list of collaborating master musicians, and the band’s full time coast-to-coast touring have all contributed to their well-deserved success.
Rarely in the music world has a bandleader arrived on the scene as talented and focused as guitarist/singer/songwriter Brandon Tarricone. Voted among the “top ten guitarists by the 2001 Jambase reader’s poll”, Tarricone’s creative songwriting and arrangements have attracted some of the country’s best musicians eager to collaborate with him. His complex harmonic chord work, virtuoso fingering and soulful touch—combined with his intense on-stage energy, and gut wrenching vocals—make people rise-up and dance for hours.
During the past year, the band has brought in Producer/Sax player Jeff Watkins, known as lead Tenor for the James Brown Band for 14 years, to tighten the sound to the point of perfection. The Rhythm section is led by veteran heavy weight bassist Paul Chase driving the groove, combined with Jon Massing’s masterful New Orleans style drumming, all of which makes even tame audiences rise and dance. A celebrated horn section led by Geoff Vidal and Sam Kininger (Soulive) includes several saxophones, as well as flute, to create a diverse symphonic jazz sound.
The Brotherhood’s communal musicianship has allowed the band to collaborate with and incorporate a number of amazing players into their performances during every tour, throughout the U.S. The Brotherhood’s unique sound has been enhanced by horn masters: Martin Fierro (Jerry Garcia band, Sly and the Family Stone), Michael Ray (trumpet, Phish/Sun Ra/Kool and the Gang), John Ellis (sax, Charlie Hunter Quartet), Dave Grippo (sax, Trey Anastasio Band, Phish), Jessica Lurie, Big Sam (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Michael Tucker (sax, Pat Metheny, Head Shaft), Eric Traub (sax, Dr. John), John Stewart (sax, The Motet) are just a few of the chosen ones who rotate within the Brotherhood’s horn section.
The band has maintained balance by recording their first album, Pocket Full of Funk, at Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, with mastering by Mark Wilder (Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock) at Sony Studios, New York. Released in January 2002, Pocket Full of Funk was voted among the top ten albums of 2002 by Gambit Weekly (January, 2003) and garnered many great reviews across the country.
The newest album, BOG Style features an amazing horn section with Jeff Watkins (James Brown Band), Sam Kininger (Soulive), Geoff Vidal, Steve Bernstein (Sex Mob), Henley Douglas Jr, (Boston Horns), and guests Ivan Neville (Neville Brothers), and Marco Benevento (the Duo) among others. Just released, BOG Style has taken the Brotherhood to yet another level of musicianship and foretells the band’s likely success as one of the next, major national touring acts. So, join the Brotherhood experience now.