Choose to Find
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Choose to Find

Somerville, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Somerville, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Jazz

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"Choose to Find"


What is jazz?

Is it Miles Davis jamming in a smoky club with one of his classic 50s quintets? Eddie Harris dazzling 70s hipsters with free-form electric sax? Quincy Jones literally playing it cool, making orchestral soul music? Bob James pushing a melody catchy enough to pass for pop?

Jazz, it seems to me, isn’t so much a genre of music as it is an attitude. It’s freedom, improvisation, cross-pollination; it’s innovative, unselfconscious, bold.

And bold is definitely one of the first words that comes to mind when contemplating an instrumental-only quartet that attempts to meld classic jazz chops with melodic rock flair and occasional outbreaks of punkish musical anarchy. One thing I know for sure, I’ve never heard anything quite like Choose to Find, and don’t expect to again anytime soon.

The band – pianist/songwriter Todd Marston, guitarist Colin Sapp, bassist Dmitry Ishenko and drummer Michael Daillak -- is comprised of graduates of the renowned Berklee College of Music, and their training definitely shows in the intricacy and confidence of these tunes. What’s more surprising, given that bio, is how far these guys push outside the known boundaries of the forms they trained in. Calling this "jazz" feels somewhat like calling Las Vegas "gaudy" – both accurate and wholly inadequate.

In several cases, Choose to Find pull the equivalent of a compositional practical joke on the listener, getting you settled in a groove like the gentle, dreamy one that anchors "Family" before sending the track off in wild psychedelic spirals in middle section. Eventually they right the ship, with Marston’s piano steering the rest of the group back to the core melody line even as Sapp counter-punches with trembly, distorted riffs.

In a similar vein, "Honesty" finds Marston filling the front end with a repeating piano pattern as Sapp weaves guitar lines over and under like a bird in flight, before they again ride the cut right off the rails into almost atonal chaos in the middle section.

Ranging farther afield, "Low Horse, High Horse" powers through an appealing, rather early-Bruce Hornsby central piano/bass melody, laying back here and there for some nice fills and hi-hat work from Daillak. The more expansive "Farewell Song" features steady rock drive and a cinematic feel, sort of like a mid-80s U2 instrumental -- unless you count the jazzy drum solo at the bridge.

It’s sometimes hard to get your bearings when the music is this unusual and gutsy. I wouldn’t call this disc an easy listen, but for the listener who can keep up, it’s a vastly entertaining safari into unexplored musical territory.

That said, is it jazz? Well, it’s bold, innovative, free-form, diverse and shows off great musical chops. Isn’t that enough? (Jason Warburg) - Daily Vault


"Choose to Find"


The self-titled debut, Choose to Find, digs immediately at the heart and gets straight to the matter at hand. It speaks without words and reveals itself like a long kept secret, heralded boldly for the first time. If it loses my attention at all, it is for mere seconds, as I am genuinely curious about what is coming next. In his own words, frontman and Connecticut native (we won’t hold that against him) Todd Marston describes his material as "greatly influenced by film music" and this theme is most prominent. I can hear the plot as it builds and twists, and I can almost hear the unnecessary sighs of an overwhelmed first time director. No need to panic; this power quartet promises an ending as magnificent as its beginning. A stellar musical rendering, worth a listen or two. (Paisley Simone) - The Noise


"Under The Radar: Choose to Find"


This time around Under the Radar, we’ve stumbled upon a gem for your listening pleasure. Our Editor’s Pick, the jazz fusion rock of Choose to Find is sure to drop your jaw.

Led by Todd Marston’s luxuriant piano and keys work and emphasized by Colin Sapp’s industrious and pugnacious guitar work the Boston-based jazz rock fusion quartet Choose to Find stakes out firm territory with their eponymous entitled debut album. The territory the claim places them squarely in the middle of the ongoing and controversial musical history that Adderley and Davis began 40 years ago when they first used instruments such as electric guitar, bass guitar, and electric piano to create music that fused jazz with rock and other genres.

And while they don’t lay out the epic 20 minute long songs that Davis or Butterfield and Bloomfield created they still create epic soundscapes that are rife with thundering rhythms, trance-like melodies, intricately composed jazz piano lines and walls of guitar sound. In fact when interlaced with the sharp notes and desolately quiet bridges that Choose to Find presents here, their collection of 9 shorter tunes take on the density and attributes of the aforementioned opuses.

In short, Choose to Find has put their notch in the jazz fusion belt with a stunning display of confident instrumentality. This disc will be immediately placed into my personal collection for years of mind expanding listening pleasure. (Dave Terpeny) - Kynd Music


"Choose to Find"


As the baby boomer generation begins to enter retirement age, the challenge of attracting a younger demographic to jazz is something that simply cannot be ignored. With that comes a need to open up to jazz as an expanding and expansive genre that retains its modernity by accepting musical shifts going on around it.

Choose to Find is a young Boston-based group that isn’t jazz by any conventional definition. With a wealth of influences ranging from Björk and Radiohead to Steve Reich, Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau, its self-titled debut sounds more like broad-spectrum rock instrumental than jazz. But sneak a peak under the covers and there are plenty of jazz elements. They’ve simply been absorbed into a more stylistically all-inclusive whole.

Formed by keyboardist/composer Todd Marston, the group’s first incarnation didn’t include guitarist Colin Sapp, who he’d met while studying at Berklee. But it was the recruitment of Sapp, along with bassist Dmitry Ishenko and drummer Michael Daillak, which allowed Marston to realize a distinctive combination of forceful rock attitude, processed sounds, anthemic melodicism and complex meters.

Fans of The Bad Plus and EST will find much to like about CtF, though the improvisational aspect of CtF is less overt. Marston writes songs, with a strong thematic component. The rhythms are often backbeat-driven, even when they’re in odd meters, and delineated solos are hard to find. Still, "Can’t Pretend" features an ostinato at its halfway point that gives Daillak a chance to stretch. Sapp plays a more textural role throughout, creating a wall of sound that’s at its peak on tracks like "Family", which also features some of Marston’s best playing on the album.

Choose to Find maintains a high energy level without being mono-dynamic. The delicate piano solo that opens "The Sacred Feminine" comes straight from My Song-era Jarrett, but filtered through Mehldau’s oblique classicism. When Ishenko and Daillak enter there’s a stronger pulse, but things don’t really take off until Sapp makes his appearance and the song takes a decidedly alt-rock turn. "Low Horse, High Horse" is more easygoing, with Sapp adding ambient swells over Marston’s Midwestern vibe, gradually shifting towards more complicated, rhythmically fluid territory.

While CtF’s collective jazz cred is impressive—work with artists including Sonya Kitchell, Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano and Marty Ehrlich—it’s clearly looking for a new space where a rich language is but one aspect. People looking for freewheeling improvisation may find little appealing about Choose to Find. But for those who are excited by unexpected stylistic cross-pollination, Choose to Find is a powerful and captivating debut from a group with plenty of potential to bridge any generation gap. (John Kelman) - All About Jazz


"Choose to Find"


Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the jazz-rock quartet known as Choose to Find are one of the unusually unique gems to be discovered within the city’s underground scene. Using a combination of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, the band creates inspiring music that strays far outside the norms of today’s typical instrumental acts. Without the aid of any fancy effects or cliché song structures, the group relies purely on emotional forces to guide their music wherever it might lead them.

Towards the end of last year, Choose to Find produced their first album. Both self-titled and self-released, the album displays an impressive range of style and intensity that completely captures the character of the band. From tranquil keyboard melodies to hard-rocking riffs, Choose to Find put on an aural spectacle unlike any other. It is undoubtedly an essential release for anyone seeking refreshing instrumentals that go beyond the overdone "post-rock" trends.

While it is unclear when Choose to Find will begin recording new material, they will continue to perform around the Boston area well into this year. With a little luck and some well-deserved support, Choose to Find may very well prove to be a new edge for today’s often all-too-predictable instrumental scene. (Sean Butze) - Sonic Frontiers


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Instrumental rock music that appeals to a wide audience is rare to come by anymore. Typically, this kind of music falls into one of two camps: its either too cerebral to readily access or there simply isnt enough meaningful content to keep it interesting for the listener. Yet, Choose to Find has seemed to create a unique sound that draws in fans of both pop music and art music. "My songwriting is greatly influenced by film music, so most of the songs are like a soundtrack for my life," says Todd Marston, pianist and songwriter for the group. "Everyone appreciates a good story and all of Choose to Finds songs are based on stories."

Formed in Boston in 2006, Choose to Find is an unconventional rock group in that they use a combination of acoustic piano and electric guitar as the primary melodic voices. Imagine an inventive singer-songwriter band that requires no vocalist. This configuration has helped Choose to Find carve their own spot somewhere in between the post-rock and jazz genres. But Choose to Find is a far cry from being a mellow group. Fans of Choose to Find thrive on the high energy emotional rollercoaster that their songs provide. About their unique sound, Sonic Frontiers wrote, Choose to Find puts on an aural spectacle unlike any other, and they go beyond the overdone post-rock trends, while Daily Vault wrote that Choose to Finds music takes the listener on a vastly entertaining safari into unexplored musical territory.

The members of Choose to Find are each powerhouse musicians in their own right. Composer/pianist Todd Marston and guitarist Colin Sapp cut their teeth together back in the early 2000s at Bostons hub of contemporary music, Berklee College of Music. A trademark of Sapp and bassist Andy Dow is their original use of looping electronic effects underneath their intricate finger work. Drummer G. Maxwell provides sweeping dynamic landscapes, controlling the driving energy of the groups sound while effortlessly grooving through odd meter shifts. According to Sapp, Choose to Finds music is demanding for everyone in the band, which is what makes this group so much fun to perform with. The music makes each person on stage kick so much butt at every show.

Somewhat parallel to modern art, Choose to Find leaves it up to the listener to decide what tale their music is telling. "That's part of the beauty of instrumental music," says Marston. "The narrative is not dictated by words, so each performance tells a different story depending on what we and the audience are experiencing and feeling in the moment." While no two Choose to Find shows are alike, one thing is certain: Choose to Finds live performance will bring listeners on a memorable journey through instrumental song every time.

Band Members