Gato Legato

Gato Legato

BandRockAvant-garde

Swirling violins, iridescent guitar tones and radical sonic timbres, supported by solid and melodic bass lines combined with the best rock/jazz/worldbeat percussion you’ve ever heard, and you have something resembling the vicinity of Detroit’s own avant-garde foursome, Gato Legato.

Biography

In the deep of Winter in early 1994 three of Gato Legato’s members loaded their cars with everything they owned and departed from their respective domiciles in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Louisville to take up a new life together in Detroit as musicians. The group rented a loft in Greektown above Niki’s Pizza back when the Greektown casinos were but a gleam in Mayor Dennis Archer’s eyes and the neighborhood was a lot tougher, bleaker and desperate than it is today. For these boys from the South however, it represented the humble beginnings of their new future as musicians in Motown’s Motor City, and they made the most out of it. These young men had emerged from the mélange of youth’s search for the magical found in an incense-heavy Miami University dorm room, in which copies of “On the Road,” “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” and the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” lay next to scattered copies of prog-rock and groundbreaking world music and alternative CD’s of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

Their first new friends in Detroit were mostly musicians from the Middle East and West Africa, and under the name “Jolly Llama” they played several engagements, including live performances on WDET and appearances at the Dally in the Alley. These still-recent imports into Detroit wasted no time proving themselves as a local force with which to be reckoned, and in 1996 under the name “Fathers of the Id” they won the Motor City Music Awards category for “Best Funk Band” in Detroit. The supersonic psychedelic soul from Fathers of the Id carried them far and wide throughout the Mid West, with two album releases and multiple festival appearances and performances in the Detroit Metro area’s premiere venues including: The State Theatre, Saint Andrews Hall, The Majestic and Magic Stick, Clutch Cargos, The 7th House, and The Blind Pig. These individuals were heavily involved in the local Detroit music scene, so much so that their Detroit-native peers voted two of them to become president and vice-president of the Detroit Musician’s Alliance.

Other side projects included “Mawaal” with Dearborn musicians and regular appearances at the Arabic Community Center for Economic and Social Studies (ACCESS) building; “Viola Peacock” which blended sounds ranging from My Bloody Valentine to the Velvet Underground; and the prog-rock, avant-garde instrumental tour-de-force “Larval” led by Detroit’s Bill Brovold. It was during his time with Larval that drummer Marko Smith met violinist Kurt Zimmermann, who is heavily involved in the Detroit classical music scene, and got him together with his long-term bassist Gustav Hoffman. After just two jam sessions, this new threesome played shows at the Corktown Tavern, the 4th Street Fair, and the Old Miami during the summer of 2007. Jolly Llama guitarist Langan Smith returned to Detroit in late 2007 from a sabbatical in which he founded a very successful video-artists group named Kino Louisville, and the foursome Gato Legato was complete.

Gato Legato’s sound is very unique and their energetic live show gets audiences out of their seats. While utilizing typical rock instrumentation, the group pays very close attention to tones and timbres to create pleasing and attention-grabbing soundscapes driven by world-beat rhythms. Audiences have responded with enthusiastic feedback saying that the band reminds them of everything from King Crimson to Radiohead, from Camper Van Beethoven to Spiritualized, or from the Cocteau Twins to the Dirty Three. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on a full-length release, which will be available for download via iTunes or direct purchase in the Spring of 2008. Gato Legato is looking forward to booking multiple summer performances, with a focus on outdoor festivals in Detroit and the Mid West. For more information check out the band’s website at http://www.myspace.com/gatolegato or contact Gustav Hoffman at 313-378-9336.

Lyrics

Never Wake

Written By: Gustav Hoffman

You will never give away,
that which you
refuse to not hold onto.

You'll sleep in all day
to never wake
from dreams you must hold onto.

Discography

Gato Legato's first LP will be released in the Spring of 2008

Set List

Gato Legato typically plays an all-original set, with occassional off-the-wall tributes to other bands thrown into the middle of an original on-the-spot rock-jazz improvisation. Original title include: "Dragonfly," "Packard 94," "Deslumbramientos," "She's on Fire," "Skylab is Falling," "Archangel Acne," "Life's Complexity and Simplicity," "Creepy Creeper," and several others.