Jazz Bastards
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Jazz Bastards

Providence, Rhode Island, United States | SELF

Providence, Rhode Island, United States | SELF
Band Rock Jam


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Northeast In-Tune"

by Mike Grutka

Jazz Bastards. There are many many many jam bands vying for the crown left vacant by the Grateful Dead. Inherited by Phish, and now pretty much open. Jazz Bastards fall into the contenders to be considered. Mixing normal rock instumentation with some banjo, mandolin and the like they attempt to combine genres as a platform for freestyle improvisation.

Their stated goal is to explore and enjoy. Unfortunately, Bela Fleck cornered the jazz/jam banjo market years ago and though the singer sounds a little like a poor man’s Trey Anastasio, there is a definite been there done that feel to the songs. With bands like this, I am positive much much much would be added by seeing them live and doing their thing. There is an obvious competency that comes through and they definitely can hold the groove. As I said though, it SEEMS the same as whoever else plays in the bluegrassjambanddeadphish emulating world. But I also only really like 1 studio album by Phish, but was consitently blown away when I saw them play live.

If you live near Rhode Island , go see them live. Lurking under the confines of studio recordings may be the next great live band. - http://www.northeastintune.com/sept/jazz.html

"Local band brings Zappa-esque explorations down home"

from: Motif Magazine (Vol 1, Issue 4 : Oct. 19 - Nov. 1, 2005)

Jazz Bastards

Local band brings Zappa-esque explorations down home

By Marion Davis

The Jazz Bastards can play jangly Americana like the Southern boys, and if you caught them at the right moment they'd transport you right to Arkansas... where they'd introduce you to the ghost of Frank Zappa and walk you to the dark side of the moon.

No, you can't trust these Bastards - if you sign on to follow them through a set because you love those first bluegrassy bits, or maybe the funky rock, or a tnppy Pink Floyd cover, they'll throw you for a loop before you know it. The one thing you can count on is, you won’t hear jazz from them. It's just a name. And while they often play with jambands - and have stood out among them, most recently as one of 13 winners of the Refix magazine's 2005 JamOff - they don’t jam a lot.

"In Providence there's just so many scenes," says percussionist Rob Yeremian "You're into rockabilly, you’re into hardcore, you're into punk.... The jamband was the closest thing that we could find to us."

Jambands are the only part of the music scene “that's known for cross­ing into a variety of genres," adds bassist/singer Jeff Tundis. "And there are times, when we have more time, when we'll open up and jam more."

"We just try to avoid the noodling aspect of jambands," adds dnummer John Campion.

In a scene where most bands come and go within a year or two, the Jazz Bastards are working their way into veteran status - Tundis, Yeremian, Campion and guitarist/singer Josh Jackson have been together sincce 1999.

Only the Bastards' lead guitarist has changed, most recently with the replacement of Scott Stanley, with whom they recorded their 2004 debut CD, 50 GiantSteps, this smnmer with Brian Martinelli, a lifelong friend of Tundis who had played with him and Jackson in an earlier band called Fat Voltzwagon.

The Jazz Bastards were actually born from the remains of Fat Voltzwagon. The band was playing one of its final gigs, at a party, and Campion, who's several years younger than them and was one of their biggest fans, jammed ott with the band.

"I said, 'I've got to work with this kid,' because he just blew me away," Tundis recalls.

What Campion brings to the band is super-energetic, often fast-paced and multi-layered drumming, a pow­erful foundation for music that is almost all danceable. Add Yeremian’s congas and hand-held percussion, Tmdis's versatile bass, two layers of guitars, a touch of keyboards, and lots of vocal harmonies, and you have a richly textured, organic sound.

For the CD, they went even fur­ther, adding banjo, trumpet and flugelhorn - but the music has so many layers that even a pared-down version offers plenty to listen to.

Having played together for so long, there's no question: the Jazz Bastards have their sound, common threads that weave through every set. Bit within each set, and on 50 Gial Steps, the range of material is such that you almost wonder how these guys carne to form a band together - ­Jackson and Tundis, especially, could be frorn different planets.

Jackson, who used to play solo a lot, writes pretty, sometimes sad songs that could work as well with just a singer and his acoustic guitar - ­stuff you could irnagine playing "on your back porch" as Campion put it.

Tundis, on the other hand, writes "the crazier, kookier songs," Carnpion says - though that's only part of his stuff.

Yes, his are all the songs that will remind you of Zappa – in pure bursts of eccentricity like "Lime Jell-O Pie," and fast-paced, bluegrassy bits like "The Long, Long Fall" (Zappa goes to Kentucky), the song that got them into the Relix JamOff.

But Tundis is also behind “Cork,” a funky blues-rock song that on the CD also includes horns. It’s one of their most jamband-like songs, with a big break in the middle that allows them to let loose. It's also remarkably catchy and danceable.

And Tundis is the mad scientist behind "Lore," a psychedelic rock song that shows off their ability to play with guitar and bass textures ­- and to channel their trippiest '60s and '70s heroes. If this were the only Bastards song you ever heard, you'd take them for a whole other kind of band, one that played with every ille­gal substance known to man. Yet while acid trips are just not their thing, experimentation is close to their hearts.

Campion calls it "exploratory" music. It's not something you can play solo - it's all about the multiple layers, the subtle shifts between instruments. And it's the best clue to what bizarrely diverse CD collections the five must have.

Being a bit older - most are 33 or 34, Campion is 27 - with full adult lives, the Jazz Bastards are, for the most part, happy to play mostly on their home turf, though they are ambitious enough to have pursued gigs in Worcester, Boston, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and entered competitions like the JamOff . They've done remarkably well for such an eclectic band, and they they know why.

"Let’s face it" says Yeremian: "If you started at the beginning of the dial and worked your way through the FM stations, you wouldn’t hear anything like us." - Motif Magazine

"Street Blast Radio"

From: http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/streetblastradio/vpost?id=504517

Jazz Bastards Music Review

By Psycho Josh

Ok… for starters… pour you a cold one, pack those cigs, and just get ready to mellow out for a bit. Jazz Bastards have that rather upbeat, but, laid back vibe to them. I would even go so far as to say them might just be stoners… a group of musical genius that are far more advanced than most listeners are used to. This is for sure not your everyday top 40 group. Jazz Bastards music is almost spiritual, if you will. In their song “The Long, Long fall”, the music has a sort of blue grass feel to it… very cool to see in new music. The lyrics of the song really seem to keep you tuned into the song as well, and I would recommend everyone taking time to check this song out for sure.

I do not ever see this band being played on MTV (then again, they don’t really even play music), but, I can see this band as a whole going over very, very well with educated colleges kids would are looking for more to their music than the same ol-garbage that is on top 40 radio today.

If you get a chance to see these guys live… do it. Post your review of them, I know if I see them, I’m gonna post what I think about their show. But, from the pics that they have on their Sonicbids.com page and the music that they have to sample from… I would say it would be a good show!

Till Next time Freaks!



- PsychoJosh.net

"Mookie's Picks"

50 Giant Steps (2004)

Mookie gives this 3 paws out of 4. Mookie enjoys the “jammy” sounds of the Jazz Bastards. Besides, they have a song called “Lime Jell-O Pie”, and Mookie enjoys anything that has to do with food. - http://www.indieburn.com/mookie.php

"Best In Show: The top rock, etc. listens in '04"

Jazz Bastards: 50 Giant Steps

Not jazz, not even bastards as far as I can tell, the improperly monikered Jazz Bastards have made one of the more intriguing debuts, ragged around the edges, melodic at its center. It's part Zappa, part Grateful Dead, and part Pink Floyd, with each song bringing adventure, promise, and brazen instrumental explorations. Obviously, ideas aren't a problem for these Bastards, excepting of course, coming up with a proper band name.

-Bob Gulla
Providence Phoenix
December 31st, 2004 - The Providence Phoenix


Of Questionable Origin (2001)
50 Giant Steps (2004)
(untitled) (2011)



The goal is to explore and enjoy. The different writing styles of Jazz Bastards members givies their catalogue a sometimes eclectic feel -- often creating outlets for freestyle, improvisational jams, both instrumental and vocal. If you're having half as much fun as the band members on stage, then it's a night well spent. With some of their own favorite songs littered throughout each set, Jeff, Josh, Rob, John and Evan hope to make each show an adventure...and if you listen with the right kind of ears, anything is possible.

A winner of the 2005 Relix Magazine Jamoff, nominated six years in a row (2001-2006) for Rhode Island's Best Local Jam Band and once for Best Album (2004) by the FNX/Providence Phoenix readers poll, and nominated for Breakthru Band by Motif Magazine (2006), Jazz Bastards formed in late 1999 and have performed at Lupo's (Providence, RI), Main Stage - High Tide Jam Festival (Dewey Beach, DE) The New Wave Cafe (New Bedford, MA), The Met Cafe (Providence, RI), AS220 (Providence, RI), The Ocean Mist (Matunuck, RI), The Living Room (Providence, RI), The Bon Vue (Naragansett, RI), The Riviera Pub (Cranston, RI), The Call (Providence, RI), Tammany Hall (Worcester, MA), CATS (Pawtucket, RI), The Station (W. Warwick, RI), The Sand Trap (E. Greenwich, RI), Cafe Zog (Providence, RI), The Century Lounge (Providence, RI), PA's Lounge (Somerville, MA), Patrick's Pub (Providence, RI), The Green Room (Providence, RI), GiZa (Prvidence, RI), The Blackstone (Cumberland, RI), Harry Brown's Farm (Starks, ME) -- as well as a live in the studio performance on 90.3 WRIU radio in Kingston, RI. Members of 13th State have been involved with local music for over 20 years.