The Drexel Project
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The Drexel Project

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Mar
24
The Drexel Project @ Andy's Jazz Club

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Nov
13
The Drexel Project @ Andy's Jazz Club

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Nov
12
The Drexel Project @ Andy's Jazz Club

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


As anyone who has seen bassist Kurt Schweitz in action live as a side man around town will attest, Schweitz is one of the best young players on the scene. Don't let the baby face fool you, this cat is a monster on the bass. Now with the release of the excellent Mulitvalent - his first album as a leader - his additional talents as a composer and band leader are made quite apparent. Schweitz' talented Drexel project ensemble consists of hard-hitting drummer Andre Beasley, talented keyboardist Rob Clearfield - who brings a plethora of unique keyboard sounds to the table, and the extremely underrated saxophonist Phil Doyle. This combination is extremely effective on this short (five tracks) recording - which Schweitz says was put together in one session. It must have been a good day because the energy level and performances are of a very high level indeed. The humorously-titled opening track - "Going to Walgreens" - leaps into a bass-driven groove, but the theme is fragmented with interesting breaks. Clearfield and Doyle both solo with aplomb, with the former's effervescent keys adding an ethereal/otherworldly nature to the sound. Doyle is a superb player who is not seen often enough live here in Chicago, but this recording should open some eyes to his full-bodied sound. Slowing the pace with the moody, romantic "Multivalent" (a term meaning - "having many values, meanings, or appeals" that also refers to the multi-valences of particles in quantum mechanics) the band shows they can produce a slow sizzle to match their hot burn. Again - not unlike his work with Matt Ulery's Loom, Clearfield's unusual keyboard settings take things into another realm, and his gloriously understated solo here is a highlight. "Veni Creator Spiritus" follows and ratchets up the intensity with an modern take on the '70s Miles groove with exceptional work from Doyle, an industrial-strength drum beat and some killer changes. - as when this highly satisfying track suddenly mutates into a delicious meditative interlude before a tasty solo from Schweitz signals the start to some fine free form interplay. Whether this track actually is based on the Gregorian Chant or not is unknown to me, but I suspect that it may be - at least in spirit. The quirky "Open Air" offers yet another example of Schweitz interesting writing. Built initially around a repeated keyboard pattern and almost rock drum beat, the song unexpectedly morphs into an extended gauzy, floating section with another stellar solo by the bassist and ephemeral work by the rest of the band. The album-ending "Savory Morsels" is one of my favorite tracks of the year - an anthemic showcase for Doyle to tear off some blistering riffs as well as exhibiting propulsive drumming by Beasley. Again Clearfield's keyboards shimmer and Schweitz's bass note choices are, well.. "choice." A somewhat bittersweet number, Doyle's solo speaks of both sadness and determination with rare emotional depth. A multivalent release. - JazzChicago.net


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Kurt Schweitz has been playing various musical instruments since age 4 but didn’t begin to consider a career in music until moving to Chicago to pursue a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Chicago. Kurt has performed internationally on stages in London, Paris and most recently at the Aberdeen Jazz Festival in Scotland. Back home, his schedule has included performances at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park, the Chicago Jazz Festival, South Shore Cultural Festival, Meet the Composer, Chicago Humanities Festival, Asian-American Jazz Festival, Milwaukee Jazz in the Park Festival. Kurt plays regularly at Chicago’s many jazz clubs, has performed with local orchestras like the Rockford Symphony, and appears on several local jazz and pop/rock recordings. Kurt enjoys writing and performing in many musical genres. In addition to bass, he occasionally performs on piano, cello, viola, and laptop. His lone movie credit is as a cellist in the 2005 movie Proof, which is ironically about a University of Chicago mathematician.