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Lakewood, Ohio, United States | SELF

Lakewood, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Funk


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"Cleveland, Ohio jazz band modQUAD unites improvisational jazz with funk on new CD"

The cleverly, playfully named modQUAD has avoided the mistake that improvisational jazz acts often make, especially those who are making their debut. That fatal flaw is in skidding off the rails rhythmically, letting creative egos dominate the groove instead of working collectively towards producing a compelling song. On the Cleveland, Ohio band's new album, It's Not Your Mama's Jazz (or is it?), modQUAD pledges allegiance to funk while working within the framework of jazz, producing a taut, tightly performed collection of music. It's a polished affair and a remarkable debut. Bassist Fred Cousin discussed the history of the group.

Q: How did modQUAD form? When?

A: modQUAD was formed in the summer of 2005. It is safe to say that the band originated from a strong friendship between Greg Wascak (keyboards, guitarist at the time) and I. We had played in another band prior to the creation of modQUAD. The current line up is, however, the fruit of a series of trial and error. In our eyes, modQUAD wasn't born until Brooke Kilpatrick joined the band in 2008. modQUAD's sound really developed and matured with the current line up, including the transition of Greg Wascak from guitar to keyboards. The first album really reflects the birth of modQUAD, a timid birth if you were to ask me. Since the recording of those tracks, the band has embarked in an incredible journey of exploration and improvisation that will be featured on the band's next album already in the works.

Q: How was modQUAD given the opportunity to open up for so many high-profile artists?

A: modQUAD has a unique sound that draws from a lot of different influences. Whether we are talking about funk, Latin, jazz, and fusion, modQUAD does not stop at the idea of “style." The approach is that if it grooves, it is something we want to play. Because of that approach, modQUAD became a fairly versatile band that matches with a lot of bands style. Cleveland being what it is, there is a real lack of “fusion" bands that could equally fit a Tower of Power, Stanton Moore Trio, or Groove Collective bill. Perseverance is also an asset in a town like Cleveland.

Q: What is the jazz scene in Cleveland like?

A: Jazz is pretty well represented in Cleveland in terms of venues and events. We have the chance of having venues such as the Night Town, the Bop Stop, and events such as the Tri C Jazz Fest that do support Jazz. Cleveland is, however, not a jazz city if you are to look at the mainstream music taking place in Cleveland.

Q: You grew up in Europe and North Africa. How did you end up in the United States? When?

A: I moved to the U.S. about 15 years ago following a job offer.

Q: What is the jazz scene in Europe like?

A: Jazz is really well represented in Europe but a comparison with the U.S. scene would be a tedious exercise. I guess it would depend on which city we are talking about.
- All About Jazz


It's Not Your Mama's Jazz (or is it?) Release June 2010.



The eventual meeting of three fairly local musicians; Greg Wascak (Keyboards), Fred Cousin (electric and upright bass) and Brooke Kilpatrick (drums) has brought us Cleveland, Ohio's modQUAD. Arriving on the Cleveland music scene in 2005 with a series of shows at popular Northeast Ohio clubs, modQUAD is adding its sound to the jam/improvisational band scene currently thriving in the area. In the music, you can hear and feel as they openly draw on a variety of scattered influences. One minute will find them playing a funk inspired tune while the next will have them serving up a deep groove with hints of jazz and solid improvisation. With their blending of solid grooves and extended instrumental jams, modQUAD looks to develop an original sound that is for the listener’s appreciation.

modQUAD has been fortunate enough to share the stage with an impressive host of national and local acts including Tower of Power, Les Claypool, Stanton Moore Trio, Karl Denson Trio, Groove Collective, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Dark Star Orchestra, Tea Leaf Green, Moonshine Still, Drums and Tuba, The Waterband, Lotus, Mifune, Sugar Magnolia, and PHIX to name a few. They have played a number of Cleveland’s top venues and have also had the opportunity to take their music outside of Ohio. The places they have performed include the following: The Appalachian Brewing Company (Harrisburg, PA), House Of Blues (Cleveland, OH), The Beachland Ballroom (Cleveland, OH), The Agora (Cleveland, OH), The Grog Shop (Cleveland, OH), Brubaker's (Akron, OH), Nelson Ledges Quarry Park (Garrettsville, OH), The Rib Cook Off and Music Festival (Cleveland, OH), Wilbert's (Cleveland, OH), The Winchester (Lakewood, OH), Happy Dog (Cleveland, OH), and the wonderful Sachsenheim Ball (Cleveland, OH).