Zubatto Syndicate
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Zubatto Syndicate

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
Band Jazz Rock

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"Four-Color Heroes! Nickel & Brass Septet"

Four-Color Heroes!
Nickel & Brass Septet

First point of note I have to say about this new CD is this: It’s the kind of recording that makes me feel like the state Jazz is indeed alive and well.
Here is a group of very well seasoned players who bring everything they’ve ever listened to into the moment. Throughout the recording the songs, arrangements and harmonies are extremely well thought out. Much detail has been given to the harmonies used in the main theme of each composition, as well as the comp harmonies used to support the soloist. There is a unique combination of instrumentation used which creates beautiful textures throughout the CD.

I love the drummer on this project. Brad Gibson has a wonderful way of communicating with each player in the solo sections – complimenting and supporting them in a very subtle way which is, quite frankly, hard to describe.
The sound of the drums is lovely – a nice “live” sound without being too “roomy” sounding in the mix. The mix on the recording throughout is very nice. Again, the harmonies on the main theme of each song are subtle, so my “compliments to the chef” in what may have been a tricky mix. There is no weak link in the special group of players brought together for this session.

“Four-Color Heroes” is certainly a recording that deserves to be heard by every fan of Jazz. It’s unique, contemporary and highly original.

Add this one to your collection to be sure.

Reviewer: Steve Barta

Four-Color Heroes!
Nickel & Brass Septet
Total Time: 60:00

Andrew Boscardin: Guitar
Jon Harmar: Bass
Brad Gibson: Drums
Clark Gibson: Saxophones
Chris Stover: Trombone
Ben Thomas: Vibes
Tom Varner: French Horn

All tracks composed & Arranged by Andrew Boscardin
Recording Engineers: Scott Colburn & Andy Boyd
Studio: Gravelvoice Studio ~ Seattle
Mixed: Andy Boyd & Andrew Boscardin @ Prescription Audio ~ Seattle
Mastering: Barry Corliss @ Master Works ~ Seattle
Graphic Design: Jennifer Varner ~ Glyph Graphics Studio ~ Seattle

Contact via: HYPERLINK "http://www.boscology.com" http://www.boscology.com Available: CD Baby, Amazon.com, iTunes

- Steve Barta


"Sounds Outside brings jazz to the people — free and outdoors"

A big band unafraid to foray into the modern pop idiom. - Seattle Times


"20th Century Danny Boy: Potted Review: Four-Color Heroes!"

Right from the start allow me to state - this CD was sent to me by Andrew Boscardin. I've never met Andrew, never even spoken to him, nor emailed him, but he sent me his music to review, which I'm more than happy to do. I'm not sure if Andrew knew I'd enjoy this disc, but I did. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

If you like your jazz smoking hot and Scotch On The Rocks cool all the same time then you're gonna dig this puppy. I unwrapped it and put it on the CD player in the car and found myself just sitting there, long after I'd stopped, just soaking it all in and wondering just where Dean and Frank might be. It's smooth, it's freeform and it's everything that I've always loved in jazz music - sweet vibes, cool horns, subtle guitar, understated drums and driving bass lines - my only gripe is that, at 60 minutes long, it's just to short. I could have sat back and listened to this for hours on end, thankfully I have a CD player that just repeats the discs once they're finished and it'll be going straight onto the IPod. The music brings back an era for me - a feel for shiny chrome airplanes, leather seats, anodised cups and much more.

The music is all comic book inspired, with titles name-dropping such greats as Joe Kubert, Steve Ditko, Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Steve Gerber (to whom the disc is dedicated to - nice touch) and the daddy's of them all - Joe and Jerry (if you need last names to those two then you need your heads read). "I didn’t set out to write a bunch of music about comic books," says Boscardin, "but while the music for this band was being written I was reacquainting myself with some of my favorite comics and they just kind of seeped in there. I didn’t even know it was happening until it was brought to my attention that much of my recent writing sounded 'heroic' and 'positive.' Before I knew it, I had a suite of songs about some of my comic book heroes." To me the best jazz is unplanned and just falls from the fingers onto the disc. The best accidents are the happy ones. This is some damn fine jazz.

You can buy one of these fine discs here and also here. Andrew, count me in as a fan of your music and I'm damned happy to recommend this disc - you need to buy it and soak it in to really appreciate and enjoy it. Thanks for sending it over and allowing me to forget the world for an hour or so today. I needed that. - Daniel Best


"The Score - Christopher DeLaurenti"

Andrew Boscardin's Nickel and Brass Septet celebrate the release of Four-Color Heroes! (Sat April 18, the Mix, 6006 12th Ave S, 8 pm, $7/$5). A jazz tribute to the great comic-book artists of yore—I dig the moody up-tempo groove of "Professor Kubert"—the septet include Tom Varner on French horn and vibraphonist Ben Thomas


Full article: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the-score/Content?oid=1395928&ms - The Stranger


"Where the Wild Jazz Things Are"

I walked into the rehearsal space next to Tougo Coffee and there were four musicians setting up, which was not quite the ensemble size I was expecting. "It looks like we're gonna start at jazz two o'clock," said Andrew Boscardin, checking his watch and grinning. In a few minutes, eight more musicians filtered in and sat down, and there it was: a big band. I thought these things were extinct.
Actually, there's a coast-and-coast flowering of big jazz bands that prize innovation, excitement, and new compositional voices. A recent New Yorker listing mentions three exemplars: the steampunk jazz of Secret Society, not-industrial "avant-garde party music" of Industrial Jazz Group, and Bjork- inspired concoctions of Bjorkestra. Secret Society is led by Darcy James Argue, who lives in New York. Portland's Andrew Durkin composes for the Industrial Jazz Orchestra. Another New Yorker, Travis Sullivan, leads Bjorkestra, with arrangements also from Kevin Schmidt, and Kelly Pratt.
Seattle is not lagging. WACO (Washington Composers Orchestra) has plenty of New York in its musical DNA. The Jim Knapp Orchestra features Knapp's new compositions. And now there's the Zubatto Syndicate, which has its own avant-garde party music aspirations.
So if the standard connotations of the "jazz" label chafe composer Boscardin like a too-tight suit, he's not alone. A Capitol Hill resident who goes to packed shows at Neumo's and Chop Suey for entertainment, he's wary of the institutional jazz alleys that always lead to dinner clubs. (He told me after the rehearsal that he was thinking about hip-hop and Radiohead, not Glen Miller and Guy Lombardo, while writing Zubatto music. A motto he scrawled and taped up for inspiration was "Zubatto Syndicate takes its pants off!")

Zubatto Syndicate is a 12-member band, Boscardin's brainchild, and very much a roll of the dice, artistically and commercially. Outside of the movies, jazz is not often a big draw unless it involves a celebrity singing standards. And swing dancers are going to be happier with Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra set lists. If you feel like dancing to Zubatto Syndicate, it'll be because you can't resist a snaky bass riff. In fact, if all goes well, you'll want to drop your pants.
Zubatto is more like local avant-pop group "Awesome," the way it's born in a genre, but goes exploring. You won't confuse it with hip-hop or Radiohead--there are no undigested bits of beat or melody--and it zigs when you think it will zag. Boscardin's arrangements unfold in surprising ways--even the heavy woodwinds emphasis, with guitar and stand-up bass for strings, is unconventional. And because his band mates are improvisationally inclined, the solos are uncharted territory.
It all adds up to "a glorious racket," says Andrew proudly. At the rehearsal I heard dense thickets of sounds, with abrupt clearings for a solo or duet. Waves of brass swelled and crashed while a clarinet tiptoed off by itself in a field--the aural equivalent of a split-screen in a movie. Instruments found unison, then moved apart, and regrouped in different combinations. Here's two 3-minute samples I recorded at the rehearsal (not on pro equipment, sorry) to give you some idea. Songs, yes. Predictable, no.
- The SunBreak


"Zubatto Syndicate"


Comparing its sound to “the Roots meet Radiohead by way of Mingus,” this brand-new 12-piece ensemble is big band the way you’ve never heard it before. Directed by Seattle guitarist, composer and Cornish grad Andrew Boscardin, the group makes its debut by playing several original compositions for jazz orchestra in the Great Hall at Town Hall. Go so you can tell all the Johnny-come-latelies you heard it first.
- Seattle Magazine


"Zubatto Syndicate plans to jazz up Seattle's Crocodile nightclub"

Zubatto Syndicate plans to jazz up Seattle's Crocodile nightclub
The Crocodile, one of Seattle's leading rock clubs, has booked a rare jazz show: Zubatto Syndicate.

By Hugo Kugiya
Special to The Seattle Times

There are no chairs to sit in when you listen to music at the Crocodile. An open floor has always worked best for the kind of music and audiences the famous rock club is known for.

Since opening in 1991 — the Belltown club closed late in 2007 and reopened under new owners in early 2009 — the Crocodile, an integral part of Seattle's music history, has hosted the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Cheap Trick, R.E.M., Mudhoney, Yoko Ono and, last week, Brandi Carlile.

On Thursday, the club will host a rare show of jazz music. Although in its early days, jazz was dance music and bands played in large dance halls, it has lately been the kind of music usually associated with chairs and tables and sitting.

"We're not opposed to jazz in the club," said Eli Anderson, who books music for the Crocodile. "It's important to broaden the music we offer. It's a part of getting people into the room. There's no reason the Crocodile has to be just rock music."

For the club's first jazz show, at least since its 2009 reopening, Anderson booked the 12-piece Zubatto Syndicate big band led by guitarist Andrew Boscardin, whose electric guitar helps form the signature of the group's sound, a mix of big-band jazz, rock and funk.

"It's more suited to the club," Anderson said. "It's really up-tempo. It's not the kind of thing you're going to want to listen to sitting down and watching. We wouldn't do a sleepy jazz show where you sit down and have your drinks."

Anderson let Boscardin book the other bands on the bill, the Owcharuk 5 (up-tempo, jazz rock inflected with Ukrainian folk music) and Water Babies (another jazz quintet whose trumpet-driven, funk jazz has a retro sound).

In general, all music clubs have had to broaden the kinds of music they present to keep rooms full. The Triple Door books just about every type of music; even Jazz Alley has verged into folk and pop. But the Crocodile has over the years maintained a relatively consistent identity as a rock club, where the beer is cheap and the only real attraction is the music itself.

"In Seattle, the scene still seems to be fairly fragmented," said Jason Parker, the trumpeter in Water Babies. "Jazz is heard by the jazz audience, rock by the rock audience. But the cross-pollination in music is what's really driving projects like these three, who all take as much from rock, funk, punk and world music as they do from jazz. That's why this bill makes sense at a club like the Croc."

Hugo Kugiya: hkugiya@yahoo.com - Seattle Times


"The Short List: Zubatto Syndicate"

http://www.seattleweekly.com/events/zubatto-syndicate-938245/

Asked to guess the headliner for what’s being billed as the first-ever jazz show at the Croc, most people probably wouldn’t come up with Zubatto Syndicate. But that’s exactly what makes this an intriguing night. The 12-piece band debuted at Town Hall last fall, with music that’s solid and involving, but also on the sedate side. On guitarist-leader Andrew Boscardin’s compositions–which lay down intricate patterns and odd-hued harmonies—the band delivered some great soloing, especially from alto player Clark Gibson, but there’s none of the Skerik-type energy that translates reliably to a rock club. These men and women play seated with music stands—or at least they did then. Can a Croc crowd respond to that kind of chamber approach? (Jazz or no, I feel confident this is the first-ever Croc show featuring a middle-aged woman on bassoon.) Hopefully yes, because this is a band that deserves a hearing. With Owcharuk 5, Waterbabies. MARK D. FEFER - Seattle Weekly


"Preview: Zubatto Syndicate"

The Seattle music scene is known for many genres of music, most notably grunge, indie-rock, and hip-hop. Zubatto Syndicate gives Seattle a good reason to add big band jazz to this list. This 12-piece band is directed by composer/guitarist Andrew Boscardin, who came up with the band’s name by browsing through Wikipedia until he found “zubatto,” Japanese onomatopoeia for making a bullseye with an arrow. Boscardin and his band are deeply rooted in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, and can be considered DIY in many aspects. They currently rehearse at Gallery 1412, a performance space on 18th between Pike and Union run by a collective of local artists. Many members of Zubatto Syndicate including Boscardin are affiliated with Cornish College of the Arts, also located on the Hill. You can find out more about Boscardin by reading this interview.

As for the band’s music, it contains influences of funk, hip-hop, pop, and rock, along with traditional big-band jazz. The current lineup includes an oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, alto sax, baritone sax, keyboard, guitar, and drums. Boscardin describes the resulting instrumentation as “woodwind-heavy, which adds many cool textures, with an electric rhythm section to add volume and rawk.” The music was written to appeal to a vast audience, with the goal of being played at venues where people can dance and move to the music. Whether you’re a jazz novice or enthusiast, Zubatto Syndicate’s mass musical influence and improv talent will get you dancing and appreciating this local twist on traditional big band jazz.

Zubatto Syndicate debuted at Town Hall last November, and their upcoming show at The Crocodile will feature Owcharuk 5 and Waterbabies as the openers. Come check it out and support Capitol Hill’s own up and coming big band.
- Seattle Show Gal


"Jazz in the House That Grunge Built"

J&J Music presents the first ever jazz concert at Seattle's legendary Crocodile Cafe. The diverse lineup of ensembles features the Zubatto Syndicate, Water Babies, and Orcharuk 5. The Zubatto Syndicate is a new 12-piece ensemble under the direction of composer and guitarist Andrew Boscardin. The band's unique orchestration creates some wild tonal colors, and the music combines detailed arrangements and inventive harmonies with rhythmic settings and idioms not often associated with the jazz orchestra. Zubatto features such Seattle stars as Byron Vannoy, Chad McCullough, Greg Sinibaldi, Jesse Canterbury, Chris Stover, and plenty more. The spontaneous funk of Water Babies is guided by trumpeter Jason Parker, keyboardist Josh Rawlings, bassist Aaron Kassover, and drummer Brad Gibson. Each Water Babies performance is unique and fully improvised, featuring some wonderful group interplay. The tightly knit ensemble draws inspiration from each other, the audience, and forefathers such as namesake Miles Davis, Maceo Parker, and Herbie Hancock. The Owcharuk 5's wild mix of punk, free improvisation, and Ukranian folk and dance music rounds out the set. The Owcharuk 5 of course also has its CD release at Tula's earlier in the month. The Crocodile Cafe (2200 2nd Ave) hosts the event on Thursday, April 15 at 8pm. If it is not quite as historic as the title suggests, it should be a spirited evening of jazz nonetheless.
- Earshot Jazz


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

The Zubatto Syndicate is a new 12-piece ensemble under the direction of composer and guitarist Andrew Boscardin. This exciting new group - a highly original take on the Big Band and jazz orchestra traditions - made its debut on November 5, 2009 at Town Hall Seattle. Featuring a unique synthesis of reed instruments and electric sounds, brass and stand up bass, Zubatto targets the musical place where Maria Schneider meets the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the Roots meet Radiohead by way of Mingus. The music combines detailed arrangements and inventive harmonic ideas with rhythmic settings and idioms atypical of the jazz orchestra, as realized by the some of the top improvising musicians in Seattle.

Zubatto Syndicate is:
Byron Vannoy - drums
David Marriott, Jr. - trombone
Greg Sinibaldi - bass clarinet and tenor saxophone
Francine Peterson - bassoon
Chad McCullough - trumpet
Janet Putnam - oboe and English horn
Tim Carey - bass
Mack Grout - keys
Mark Taylor - alto saxophone
Jim DeJoie - baritone saxophone
Jesse Canterbury - clarinet
Andrew Boscardin - guitar

Composer and Guitarist Andrew Boscardin has been performing and writing music for over 20 years. He has appeared on stage with numerous musicians including Tom Varner, Chris Stover, Mack Grout, Jovino Santos-Neto, Julian Priester, Karl Latham, John Lee, Ben Thomas, Brad Gibson, Jon Hamar, Chuck Deardorf, Clark Gibson, Rachael Contorer and the Jim Knapp Orchestra. In June 2008, the premiere of works for his new Nickel and Brass Septet was the recipient of a smART venture award from the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. This septet’s first CD, “Four-Color Heroes!” was released in February 2009.
In addition to his work as a bandleader, Boscardin has contributed music for dance, stage, and film, both as a composer and performer. His film work include scores for the short films “Murder”, “Enlightened”, and most recently, “The Marthas” and “Times Like These” for Bay Area director Rick Bosner, with whom he continues to collaborate. Boscardin has studied with Dave Peterson, Jim Knapp, Hummie Mann, Glenn Alexander, and John Yannelli. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where he studied composition and electronic music and performed in the school's Improvisation and Guitar Ensemble, and of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where he majored in jazz guitar performance.