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Band Hip Hop Jazz


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"Rock the vote!"

By Matt McGuire

How "up-and-coming" are the local bands that routinely sell out clubs throughout the city? Not very, we'd say.

That's why we set out in search of Chicago's true unheralded artists -- the bands that don't have a buzz yet, but are churning out some of the city's best music.

What started as a jazz trio (hence the name) has blown up into a seven-piece funk-rap-soul monster. The collective's sound borrows equal parts organic rappers The Roots plus jazzy jammers Medeski Martin and Wood. There are horns, turntables, organs, guitars and, of course, plenty of percussion. And over it all come the raps of MC Billa Camp, a new addition who holds together the group's jam-band leanings with his tight rhymes. -- Matt McGuire - Chicago Tribune

"Saturday: Treologic sticks with jazz-infused hip-hop"

Lance Loiselle exposes music to kids for a living but is far from finished exploring the art himself.

"I'm studying hip-hop the same way I studied jazz," said Loiselle, who holds a jazz studies degree from DePaul. "It's kind of a musical evolution for me."

Being a music teacher is more than a steady day job for Loiselle, it's access to a nearly unlimited supply of extra voices whenever Treologic needs them.

On "Dusty Roads," from the instrumental hip-hop band's latest, "Thank You, Lenny," Loiselle's children's choir at Chicago's Portage Park backs up the sextet. The recording session took place at school after Treologic treated the student body to a performance at Loiselle's annual talent show.

"It's obviously a little different than what they're used to hearing on the radio," said Loiselle, who sings, plays bass and keys in Treologic. "They know what's good. They really liked it a lot. The little kids, they went nuts for it."

Loiselle is joined by Justin Boyd on drums, DJ Savage, MC Billa Camp on vocals, Eric Koppa on sax, flute and percussion and Anthony Massaro on guitar and vocals.

The band plays the South Park Music Festival at 7 p.m. Saturday on Front Street.

The band has rotated through more than 25 musicians, with each incarnation, Loiselle said, going in a different direction. He believes this lineup and niche in hip-hop is solid.

"We've gone from one extreme to the next," he said. "We've gone from jam with hip-hop to hip-hop with jazz. (This band) has a hunger unlike any group that I've been in."

- Summit Daily News - Denver

"Okayplayer Review"

Thank You Lenny
Cigol Records; 2006

There’s a fine-line between emulation and mimicry, throwback and time-bound. And, as the song goes, there’s a fine line between love and hate. With their latest offering, Thank You, Lenny, Chicago’s hip-hop/R&B/jazz crew Treologic is on it.

Taking cues from The Roots in creating a live-sounding, genre-blending style is a move more groups should emulate. As enthralling as studio-produced beats can be, the dynamic, free-flowing quality of live instrumentation adds a new facet to the listening experience and an element of unpredictability to performances. On Thank You’s best cuts, the members of Treologic add their own unique elements: prominent R&B stylings with hints of woodwinds and brass. For every few songs that advance the formula, however, there are an equal number that seem simply to mimic the Roots circa-Do You Want More?!!!??! All jazzy keys and free-floating vibes with little new added to the mix – a lazier Sunday if you will.

Without a doubt, those who miss the long-gone Scott Storch age might find Thank You a refreshing throwback to an earlier, simpler era. Under these modest standards, Treologic more than succeeds. But giving Thank You a spin in 2006, it seems overly cautious, almost time-bound. Not only The Roots’ sound, but the sound of hip-hop in general, has changed dramatically since 1995. Rather than freezing hip-hop in a particular time, to preserve some “Golden Age” or “Silver Age” sound, the real challenge seems to rest in incorporating all the musical ideas kicked up along the way in pursuit of something new, something fresh. As the true masters of sampling have shown us throughout the years, one step back is always two steps forward. Standing on the narrow line between past and future, we have no choice but to move forward – it’s just the nature of things.

- T.M. Wolf

This review is dedicated to the memory of James “J Dilla” Yancey, who grew up in the game as a producer as I grew up as a listener and a fan. From Beats, Rhymes, and Life to Donuts, Dilla always kept a foot in the past and an eye toward the future. With a tear for what’s done and with hope for what’s to come, rest in peace.


"'Lenny' proves to be a loyal friend"

It has only been four years since the talented and vocal group Treologic appeared on the scene, transforming from a simple trio into a seven-member hip-hop, soul and jazz group, becoming a major part of the music scene in Chicago.

The group consists of organist Loiselle, drummer Joe Arteaga, guitarist Anthony Massaro, MC Billa Camp, turntablist DJ Savage, vocalist and trumpeter Jordan Lopez and saxophonist Eric Koppa. These members bring essential individual talents to the group that makes their music unlike that of any other hip-hop group around. The group's music sounds like a mixture of the smooth R&B of Talib Kweli, with the hard rap of Jay-Z and Kanye West, and the twining guitars of Steely Dan. Some of the songs, such as "Pass It Around," "Hamilton Yates" and "Cheek 2 Cheek," have hollow or echo-like sounds, as though the band is playing live. Their newest album, "Thank You, Lenny," is a success because of the innovative instruments and diverse selection of songs.

Even at the beginning of the CD, Treologic brings the listener into a new world - one of saxophones, drums and guitar with songs such as "Pass It Around" and "Clap Clap." These songs are lively and energetic. The music may even cause some head bobbing and mild dancing to the mellow tones. Sounding like a new age Mos Def, "Pass It Around" is the perfect selection to start off the CD, with its vibrant beats and saxophone solo by Koppa. With a mixture of soul, rap, hip-hop and a dash of funk R&B, Treologic creates quite the interesting melody.

"Kimosabi I," is split into four parts, with parts two through four spread throughout the rest of the album. This song is a perfect way for the listener to understand the talent of Treologic, with each track expressing the sounds of specific instruments in different ways.

"Kimosabi I" starts with piano and then a mixture of low drums with a medium beat and percussion. Although the track only lasts a minute and a half, it feels like a step back in time to the late 1970s/early '80s old school era, with accents on the keyboard and drums.

Kimosabi II" takes off immediately, with a faster and funkier tune emphasizing the keyboards and the drums. The two instruments intertwine, creating a jazzy sound. Sometimes they'll speed up just to slow back down in a give-and-take relationship, only to eventually climax into a quick, driving finish.

Not only do the instruments play a vital role on the CD, but the themes of the songs give insight into how the members of the group feel about their own experiences.

"Cheek 2 Cheek," is a slow jam mixed with rap. The theme of this song is love, with lyrics such as, "If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right/ This is what I want to say/ I want to be cheek to cheek." It's a groovy song with some slow, mellow tones - a good catalyst for some late night romance.

Treologic has started a new genre of hip-music, proving its talents from one song to the next. Its latest album is not targeted to a specific audience but is designed for anyone who has a passion for instruments and good, soulful music. Although the listener may have a hard time trying to figure out who Lenny is, the beats and tones stay steady and the songs stay lively.

- Loyola Pheonix

"Review by Ro Beats"

What actually turns out to be a rather refreshing listen is the release from newcomers Treologic entitled Thank You, Lenny. The group’s raw blend of hip-hop, funk, and jazz with a small taste of rock actually provides the ears a new incentive to actually listen and appreciate music after the countless releases of mundane drudgery. “All in Love” serves as a standout track, as it just makes you want to sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy life.
- Ro Beats

"WRDP: Treologic will free your mind"

To all those skeptics who said you can’t mix multiple genres of music to make a masterpiece, shame on you. On the surface, attempting to blend seven musicians to make an effective song can be difficult at best, let alone mixing seven personalities.

Treologic pushes the boundaries of music further than most thought possible. Any three of these cats can hold their own, with melodic flows from the band’s emcee, BillaCamp, sultry sounds emanating from Eric’s saxophone, crazy scratches from DJ Savage, Joe wrecking havoc on the drums and Jordan with the vicious vocals.

All of these artists are accomplished musicians in their own rite. To a skeptic who may try and judge this book by its cover I say to you: at least read the first page. They pull their styles from so many different genres it’s hard to find a Treo song you won’t enjoy. At a recent performance at Lilly’s Lounge the group not only packed and rocked out the venue, but made us think too. It is so easy to go to a Treo show and just bob your head. The lyrics they spit range from woman problems to personal enlightenment

Treologic is exploding onto the Midwest scene with one of the most innovative and eclectic acts to date in Chicago history. They have shared the stage with James Brown and are the second leading vote winner in the rock-the-vote concerts series. This band embodies all the qualities of our great city: diversity, originality and pure skill. Treologic is not a new band, and they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Stop looking at them and start listening.

- The Depaulia

"Hip hoppin' at Hokin"

The Hokin Annex doubled as a hip-hop club Feb. 24, when it hosted the Big Mouth Hip-Hop night?a popular Columbia event that gives aspiring MCs the chance to move a crowd. And a large crowd, too?the room was nearly filled before the event registration had even closed.

Milling around the room in small cliques, the crowd was reminiscent of a high school battle of the bands, with each performer bringing his or her own posse.

Most were munching on the free pizza and soda provided by C-Spaces?the most aggressive area in the room was not the stage, but the pizza table. Elbow room was tight, as the crowd vied for the coveted cheese pizza.

If any of the performers were nervous about taking the stage, they weren?t letting it show. Of course, it was hip-hop night, and as any good MC knows, false bravado is half the battle.

?Crowds don?t bother me. I?ve been onstage at raves in front of 2,000 people. I used to get stage fright, but not anymore. You?ve got to break through that s--t,? said MC Nansense as he warmed up, spitting lyrics in the lobby outside the annex.

Ensanity, another of the night?s performers, felt the same way?a crowd is nothing to worry about.

?It?s a good, versatile crowd here tonight,? he said. ?It?s all about the music. If you can bob your head, you?re down.?

Sharod Smith, programming coordinator for C-spaces one of the event?s organizers, was happy with the turnout.

?It?s still early and we?ve got a lot people signed up,? he said. ?And there?s still a line at the door.?

While the event was billed as a hip-hop night, Smith wasn?t looking to exclude any performers.

?We?re open to all genres, but right now we have just two spoken word artists, and two acoustic artists?the rest are hip-hop. This is definitely the night for hip-hop,? Smith said.

The stage was taken by a wide variety of MCs, most rapping over pre-recorded beats that they brought on CD.

One of the standout performances was from Verbal Guns, who changed his stage name from Nonsense after hearing two others take the mic with his previous moniker. Over a track sampling the vocal stylings of Bill Clinton, Verbal Guns spat irreverent, semi-political rhymes reminiscent of MC Paul Barman, the Michael Jordan of Jewish hip-hop.

Although the styles of each performance varied, the crowd?s reaction remained the same ? there was support for anyone willing to take the stage. Loud cheers and applause followed each set, keeping the vibe positive.

Despite the talent apparent in most of the open mic performers, the event?s main attraction was Chicago?s own Treologic.

Smith is a big fan of the group and was responsible for booking them as the evening?s featured performance.

?I?ve seen Treologic a few times, and I like them a lot. They bring a good mix to a show like this,? said Smith.

Treologic had no problem standing out from their fellow performers. The seven-member group fills the stage with live musicians?horns, keyboards, guitars and drums?in addition to the hip-hop staple of DJs and MCs.

Although they?ve played venues all over the city, including the Metro and Subterranean, Treologic is always happy to play a Columbia event.

?People are very appreciative of many different exciting things here at Columbia. The students are very open-minded,? said Lance Loislle, keyboardist for the group.

Talking about their Big Mouth set, Treologic was nonchalant.

?We?re just going to do some old-school hip-hop, mixed in with a Treologic flava,? Loislle said, laughing.
- The Columbia Chronical

"Reclaiming hip-hop's good times"

Chicago Tribune news: Reclaiming hip-hop's good times

Reclaiming hip-hop's good times

Andy Downing

May 4, 2007

Hip-hop is currently caught in the cross hairs. Respected artists such as Nas
are proclaiming the genre "dead," and in the wake of the Don Imus dust-up the
mainstream media is zeroing in on the negative lyrics embraced by a handful of
popular rappers -- not to mention Cam'ron's controversial interview with
Anderson Cooper on "60 Minutes."

In the interview, during Cooper's report on "snitching" and how certain artists'
message to refrain from helping the police has hindered ongoing criminal
investigations, the New York City-born MC said that he wouldn't turn in a serial
killer living next door. "I'd probably move," he responded to the hypothetical
question, "but I'm not going to call and be like, 'The serial killer's in 4E.'

"With that whole [Don Imus] thing ... and the media starting to look a little
harder at [the lyrics], I think people's perception of hip-hop has been
negatively affected," says Treologic keyboardist/bassist Lance Loiselle. "People
need to realize that the hip-hop you hear on the radio -- the stuff that's being
shoved down our throats -- that's not what hip-hop's about."

Treologic's songs are unfailingly positive, focusing on friendship, love and
good times. It is, says Lance Loiselle, a throwback to hip-hop's earliest days,
when MCs were more concerned with getting the party started than earning street
cred. "We don't write political songs," continues Loiselle.

The five-piece group, sparked by the energetic vocals of MC Billa Camp, has been
laying down a jazz-influenced, upbeat groove since releasing its 2003 debut,
"What's the Question." It's a path the band plans on continuing when its latest,
"Green Room Memoirs," surfaces sometime this summer.

That's not to say the band is blissfully unaware of the current social and
political climate. Loiselle notes that the band members are no longer in their
early 20s -- some of them are even fathers -- and they can't help but look
around and wonder what kind of world the next generation will be left with.

"We're growing up," says Loiselle. "So the context is starting to evolve. Words
have amazing power and I could see the content changing to express some of those
fears and doubts we have for the world."

But until that day, Treologic plans only to keep the crowds moving. "We're all
old-schoolers at heart," surmises Loiselle. "Music is just our way of having
fun." - Chicago Tribune

"20 to Watch"

Lets dispence with cheesy tags like "up and coming" and the "next big thing"....Twenty of Chicago's own, mostly homegrown, youngish, genre-bending musical talents, some slightly more established than others, but each with a fresh voice we thing you'll be hearing more of in the coming months....

This Chcago-grown, organic hip-hop crew is constantly evolving as keyboardist Lance Loiselle explains with a "face lift every 2 or 3 months" to ensure that live shows are always fresh and inspiring. For the time being Treologic is seven thriving performers who, DJ Savage emphasizes, would "hate to be pigeon-hold into being just a hip-hop band".
- UR Magazine Chicago

"Treologic Wins the Discmakers IMWS Midwest 2005"

Chicago Hip-Hop Act TREOLOGIC Takes Home Disc Makers Independent Music World Series Midwest Title

Treologic walks away with $35,000 grand prize package and title of top independent act in the Midwest

CHICAGO, IL – MAY 18, 2005 – Treologic, a hip-hop act from Chicago, won the Disc Makers Independent Music World Series (IMWS) Midwest showcase held last Thursday night at the Elbo Room in Chicago, IL. As the grand prize winner, Treologic ( takes home over $35,000 in prizes, including recording gear, instruments, CD manufacturing services, and more.

“The IMWS was a great experience for all of us in Treologic,” says Lance Loiselle, Keyboard Player for Treologic. “We could tell from the very beginning that this was a show and competition different and better than any we had associated with before. The folks at Disc Makers understand what it is like to be a struggling indie artist with a day gig to pay the bills and burning the midnight oil to get ahead. That is the essence of why this show was put together. Thank you to Disc Makers, all the sponsors, and all the competing acts for this great experience.”

TREOLOGIC was one of six finalists competing before a panel of twelve judges that included the lead singer from Carlos Santana’s band and representatives from ASCAP, Universal Music, Future Entertainment, Midway Games, Coachhouse Music, Bloodshoot Records, and the Illinois Entertainer. Over 600 unsigned bands and independent artists submitted entries for the Midwest region of the IMWS. The other finalists included Aubrey (Lawrence, KS), Jaded Era (Cuyahoga, OH), The Louie’s (Ashton, IL), The Radio Hour (Chicago, IL), and Troubadours (Taylor, MI).




"Thank You, Lenny" - 2005 Treologic 2nd full length release on Cigol Records, now available at stores nationwide distributed through Red Eye USA, at, and for international download on the World Wide Web.

"Mix Tape" -2004 Cigol Records limited release Available for listening and purchase @

"Whats the Question." - 2003 Cigol Records Release. The first Full Length EP Tracks are available for listening on and



The hustle. The flow. The discovery of this amazing music. Its hip hop, its jazz, its rock, its gospel, the music is live. Treologic has proven over the years that it knows how to entertain a crowd as well as deliver a great recording, year after year.

Treo started from a jazz organ trio (organ, guitar, drums) out of the Depaul School of music tradition. After some personel changes, an MC was added, then a DJ, horns singers, percussion - all in trying to find the musical voice that is Treologic. Now the group has been scaled down to a 5 piece progressive hip hop unit consisting of drums, bass, keyboards, turntables, and an MC. The future is in the sound and staying true to the roots of Chicago hip hop, jazz, gospel, neo-soul and rock.

The message of the music has always been concious with a street sensiblity. Hard beats with jazzy flavor, chops with simplicity, always keeping a lyrical flow that is remiscent of Jay-Z, Naz, or Black Thought. Treologic has often been compared to The Roots, J5, Tribe Called Quest, and Floetry. But make not mistake: the sound is original, cutting edge, and catchy.

Treologic has found great success over the years performing all over the country including tours to New York Ctiy and the East Coast, Colorado, Los Angeles and the West Coast, and of course, a solid following in the Midwest. In 2005, Treologic won the Discmakers Independant Music World Series-Midwest! Treo has performed with the legends like Talib Kweli, The Beatnuts, The Roots, Heiruspecs, Liquid Soul, and the Youngblood Brass Band. We have played great festivals including Wakarusa, The Taste of Chicago, Summercamp, FUNK Fest, and several Music Industry Conferences. In all, Treo has performed on average 70-80 shows a year for the last 5 years - thats over 400 shows!

Discography is impressive as well: Whats the Question in 2003, MixTape in 2004, Thank You Lenny in 2005, Colabo will be released in 2008 later this summer as well as countless mix tapes circulated throughout the nation as we tour.

Treologic is once again on the rise - constantly recording and representing the great music in Chciago and the great culture of hip hop. We are commited to providing great quality music to the people for the peoples sake. Its the hustle and the flow and we are gonna get ours.

Accolades, showcases and noteworthy performances:
2007 Supporting act with Beatnuts in Colorado
2006 Wakarusa Music Festival and Road to Wakarusa Winner (Chicago, IL)
Discmakers Independant Music World Series WINNER 2005 Midwest 2005
Midwest Music Summit Indy, IN 2006
Supporting Act with The Perceptionists Milwaukee and Madison, WI 2006
Supporting Act with Mr. Liff and The Coup 2006
Supporting Act for Youngblood Brass Band Chicago 06
Supporting Act with Talib Kweli Champaign, IL 2005
Supporting Act with Brother Ali, Grinnell College 2005
Performer at 2005 Summercamp Music Festival
Performer at 2005 Thirsty Melon Six Flags Music Festival
Showcase Artst at 2005 Millenium Music Conference
Chicago MOBfest showcase artist 2005 and 2004
Chicago Tribune/ Red Eye Best Band Finalist 2004
Top 4 All-Time at with over 34 individual awards for song "Pass It Around" 2004
Finalst in Emergenza Regional Finalist and North American CD Compilation Artist Chicago, IL 2004
Showcase Artist in Midwest Music Summit and CD Compilation Artist Indianapolis, IN 2004
Featured Artists in Winter Music Conference Miami, FL 2004
Finalist in Indie-Week Music Festival Toronto, ON 2004
Milwaukee Summerfest Emerging Artist Stage Performer 2004
Indianapolis Music Conference, Showcase Artist 2004