The Joints
Gig Seeker Pro

The Joints

Boulder, Colorado, United States | INDIE

Boulder, Colorado, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Soul




"Greg Harris reviews "Ink Freethinker""

The aesthetic of the sound of the new Joints album is raw, uncut, and honest. Each piece unfolds like a story with solid development, and nice plot twists in the compositions.
The musicians have internalized and expressed a variety of styles while remaining authentic. I hear post rock influences, some Don Cherry or Ornette inspired free moments, some alchemist or LTJ Bukem infused chopped sample beats, anthemic folk rock, and some nice soulful melodies that I can actually sing and feel connected to.
A really nice aspect about this album in the freedom of the rhythm. The compositions and the improvisations all have a feeling of energetic forward motion, not to mention the good use of metric modulation that you can still nod your head to. The lack of editing out every imperfection helps me connect more with the voice of each player. Their hearts, personalities, and sould come directly through.
The band acts as a cohesive unit, all listening to each other and valuing individual contribution to create a oneness in sound. And the brothers in the band clearly have a connection that helps solidify the vision and sound for the music. Overall, loving the feel and honesty of this record and can't wait for the next Joints joint.
-Greg Harris
percussionist/vibraphonist/composer - Brandon Sullivan

""A stellar group of musicians...""

Artist: The Joints

Album Title: Ink Freethinker

The Colorado jazz scene has a true gem nestled in the high altitude of the Rockies with the cool sophistication of The Joints. Each member of this auspicious quintet is immensely learned and talented, yet extremely keen and polite when it comes to showcasing each other’s chops. Every instrument gets its moment to shine but the inner beauty of The Joints’ music is heard in the combined passages that are heavily textured yet not aurally numbing.

Ink Freethinker is the group’s debut which boasts highly sophisticated musicality but never lets itself get egocentric. Similar to the Mothers of Invention with less mayhem, the opening track “New Radio” begins with drummer Josh Moore playing a straight marching cadence on the snare. Jean-Luc Davis enters on bass playing an opposing disjunctive rhythm. Founder and keyboardist Brandon Sullivan adds another layer while the full drum kit is added. The brainchild of The Joints, Sullivan has got a good thing going because he not only has terrific musicians to play his well-crafted original pieces; he has made the brilliant choice of playing a Fender Rhodes throughout the entire album. No other keyboard instrument would suffice and exude the depths of feeling into Ink Freethinker as the subtle, mellow Fender Rhodes.

Ryan Sullivan on trumpet and Danny Meyer on tenor saxophone round out the group. When in unison the two horns are tight and blend extremely well moving as one. The Joints have a knack of settling into a groove and then throwing in a new unexpected turn, but executed with such finesse that the listener easily and willfully goes along. Ryan’s trumpet solo in “New Radio” begins in a more classical pristine manner before getting a bit raunchy and finally settling on a punchy lead that then fades into the tenor solo.

This semi-classical motif is heard again in short snippets of “Your Departure” where the horns play obvious grace notes and block chords. Then the saxophone lets loose and rips up and down the full range and beyond of the tenor with a polished brash tone ideal for superfast freeform soloing.

“Amber Thoughts (Like Uninvited Guests)” starts off as one of those ballads that sounds almost forced to be played as slow as possible. The intensity creeps in first with the bass, then horn muse with the keyboard chiming in. Brandon’s solo in this piece is well done. Between his sensitivity and knowledge of his instrument, Brandon is a master of painting an emotive picture with his songs. The quiet reflection he brings to “United” takes one to a happy place, like a green hillside at sunrise. A mysterious vibe entrances the listener in “Honesty” with its repetitive rising and falling lines. This short piece serves as the introduction to “(Is Not for the Honest)”. The companion piece starts off at a jauntier pace with a quirky bass riff offset by a swung melody interjected with straight eighth notes. Both horn soloists are given amble time to play in a well thought out stream of conscious style that is the epitome of relaxed sophistication. The ending gets a bit hectic with the keyboard wanting to drive the tempo home with the horns holding back all ending with a satisfying drum flourish.

A clever play on words musically speaking comes across in “Cheap Champagne.” It begins as a melodic toe-tapper but gets more convoluted as the piece progresses, similar to how the floor feels after one has had inexpensive spirits in excess. The closing number “Permanence” is an overall serious tune, very appropriate to end this incredible album. After a hint of optimism in the middle section, the song winds down into controlled chaos.

Ink Freethinker is a formidable debut from a stellar group of musicians. The Joints have nothing flashy or any points to prove; they just simply play well executed intelligent mood music.

Review by Kelly O’Neil
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
- ReviewYou

"The Joints Jazz Up The Joint"

Read the artist Q & A here. - The Colorado Daily


Ink Freethinker



The Joints are an instrumental post-jazz quintet based out of Boulder, Colorado. Founded in January of 2011 by keyboardist/composer Brandon Sullivan, the group is comprised of bassist Jean-Luc Davis, saxophonist Danny Meyer, drummer Josh Moore, and trumpeter Ryan Sullivan with Brandon on Fender Rhodes. The beginnings of the band happened soon after Brandon returned to the Denver area in 2008. He met Jean-Luc Davis, and the two began playing with drummer Josh Moore. They were soon joined by Brandon's brother, Ryan, and saxophone phenom Danny Meyer.

This high energy band has been deemed one of the most 'accessible' ensembles performing today. "This five piece jazz band will remind you why jazz is cool" says Ashley Dean of The Colorado Daily. Greg Harris (Greg Harris Vibe Quintet and The Future Jazz Project) raves that The Joints "act as a cohesive unit, all listening to eachother and valuing individual contribution to create a oneness in sound. And the brothers in the band clearly have a connection that helps solidify the vision and sound for the music." They are focused on making music that represents an artistic vision, rather than following the rules of a particular genre or scene. While rooted in the improvisational realm of jazz, the group pushes for a much heavier sound, typically not found in the genre. They explore more complex forms and harmonic structures that link many different influences of the band, including Hip-Hop, Jazz, Post Rock, and Neo-Soul. The listener can instantly identify with the group's groove-based tendencies, high energy level, and on-stage personality. "Their hearts, personalities, and soul come directly through."

The Joints released their debut album, "Ink Freethinker", in December of 2011. The Joints songbook is 100% original compositions, contributed from all members of the group. Each member is a noted musician and educator, helping to further the art of music by handing it down to the next generation. The Joints strive to reach a wide variety of people with their music. Impressive individual resumes, coupled with an intense passion for creating a different kind of music, led to the formation and continued success of The Joints.