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Seaboard are an indie punk free jazz outfit."
-Ben Hernandez, The Detroit ArtSpace
Drummer - Seth Nanaa (Ex-Indian
Reeds Player - Brent Bagwell (Project BLUEBIRD, Tenspeed)
Bassist - Jordon Schranz (Quivers, Ex-La Otracina)
"They were all born in
different places and met in New York through a series of ominous coincidences.
The Eastern Seaboard rides the balance between punk intensity and soundtrack-esque expansiveness, pledging allegiance to free and improvisational music from all time, particularly to the jazz masters of the past (for the reasons behind their music as much as the music itself).
Things aren’t what you want, so you make them up. The band continues to believe what they want to believe about music. They continue to want to bring it to the People; the revolution. Everyone likes to see musicians try really hard, they tell themselves.
If sound is an expression of human emotion, then to fetter it to rhetoric only limits the scope of communication. Sometimes the music just goes wherever it wants to, and the Eastern Seaboard only think they created it. No one knows.
The best parts of the music are the parts that all three musicians cannot recall
– the blackout."
2010 - "The Sound Power" CD, Black Saint
2008 - "The Working Class" CDR, self-released
2008 - "le son du grisli: 1ignes" CD compilation, Le Sond Du Grisli
2008 - "Rippers & Creepers" cassette compilation, Pendu Sound Recordings
2008 - "Tigerasylum 2007" CDR compilation, Tigerasylum Records
2007 - "Relapse" 12" LP, Tigerasylum Records
2007 - "Ghosts" CDR, Tigerasylum Records
2005 - "Won't Lovers Revolt Now?" 12" LP, Tigerasylum Records
2004 - "Nonfiction" CD, Black Saint
2004 - "Outbound" CDR, self-released
2002 - "Blue Universe Trio - NYC FREE JAZZ" CD, Future Recordings
- Chicago Reader
free jazz via mid-‘80s post-punk”
- Omar Khalid; Creative Loafing Atlanta
the frantic beginning of ‘Minerals’, we are presented
with a rawness more commonly associated with rock groups like Sonic Youth and
Nirvana than with any form of jazz. Bagwell’s sax is characterized by
dissonance, screeching chaotically, wailing eerily, and droning like feedback
from an amplifier. Schranz’s bass is also rock-like, favoring catchy,
thumping riffs rather than traditional walking bass lines and using the bow
repeatedly to create a keyboard/synth-like sound. The musicians consistently
gel together, developing the mood and tone of each piece through astonishing
- Robert Gibson; Music on the Web (UK)
on Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation and wooed by John Coltrane's A Love Supreme
- rooted in late 60s free jazz"
- The Wire
the eASTERN sEABOARD - Relapse (Tigerasylum)
“My first meeting with both label and band, which is in part equivalent here as double bassist Jordon Schranz - besides being one third of the sonic entity - is the man in charge of this contemporary jazz imprint from New York that tries to bring to a wider attention the music of artists from the Bushwick and Williamsburg areas of Brooklyn. The job is performed by releasing small editions of vinyl albums and CDRs of which Schranz curates the packaging and artwork; this particular sleeve features a multiple image of American sprinter Tommie Smith while famously raising his black-gloved fist after winning the Olympic gold medal in 1968. The Eastern Seaboard (graphically rendered as eASTERN sEABOARD everywhere, don't ask me why) are a trio which includes Brent Bagwell on tenor sax and Seth Nanaa on drums. What's immediately evident is the "bitterness" of the sound, a soulful yet sort-of-devastated consciousness that depicts the future awaiting certain segments of humanity as even bleaker than the (already hard enough) present day. These guys refuse to kowtow to serenity, many moments of their inspired interplay residing among the best jazz-related improvisations heard recently. We're given takes as they were recorded, the musicians commenting and chuckling about what they played, the switch of the tape separating the tracks like in a demo. Bagwell is a well-aware ponderer, passionate and at the same time detached; Schranz's arco work reaches impressive depths in several occasions, dark harmonics and droning accompaniments at times an authentic thing of beauty; Nanaa is just perfect for the role, underlining and collating with sensitive application and drawling independence. To quote another Brooklyn icon: "He got a little nick in the ear, and he quit. Big deal!". The Eastern Seaboard certainly don't look like quitters; they'll punch reality through your skull without the need of screaming too much.”
- Massimo Ricci; Touching Extremes
"In the press materials for The Eastern Seaboard, an exploratory three-piece combo from New York, there are numerous references to the trio's "Punk" and "Indie" inspirations, from Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation through the wise worldview of Joe Strummer (to whom the band's CD, Nonfiction, is dedicated). While those touchstones seem genuine, they also seem like efforts to drag out different fans to their tours, which hit a large number of "Rock" venues.
But make no mistake -- as progressive and adventurous as The Eastern Seaboard is, this is Free Jazz. And fans of that genre and its peak era and practitioners shouldn't be scared off by the Rock references; they will be knocked out by the young threesome's boundlessly creative take. Likewise, Thurston Moore devotees and fans of more experimental, risk-taking Post Punk and Post Rock will also eat up the Seaboard's untethered, impulsive style, just as they'd be drawn to the cutting-edge work of old Ornette Coleman or Charles Mingus. When it comes to The Eastern Seaboard, the cross-cultural references reflect the natural, preconception-exploding approach of this exciting, artistic trio.
The fact is, despite the "Jazz" format (horns, bass, drums), it doesn't really matter what you call the group's distinctive style. Just sit back and let it engulf and provoke you.
Across The Eastern Seaboard's discography -- which includes Nonfiction, released on esteemed progressive Jazz label, Black Saint, plus several efforts on their own imprint, Tigerasylum Records -- the group has fiddled with the lines between composition and improv, ambient soundscapery and impetuous chaos, elegance and cacophony. Eschewing traditional roles, each member consistently takes turns guiding the ship and churning the oars. Bassist Jordon Schranz switches between finger-plucking and bowing on his upright, providing ominous scratches, expansive ambiance or supple runs depending on the atmosphere of the piece. Drummer Seth Nanaa similarly feeds the pulse of the songs, crafting whirls of skittish, volatile rhythms that are both musical and aura-building. Saxman Brent Bagwell (who also blows clarinet) milks rich, sublime tones from his instrument, but also combusts with sweltering, frenzied skronk when it's called for. All are stunning musicians, partly for their chops, but mostly for the expressive, emotion-laden sounds they produce with their tools. Based on that alone, Strummer would definitely approve."
- Mike Breen; Cincinnati City Beat
"As long as
jazz has been recorded, some record labels have been synonymous with its
best recordings. Blue Note and Prestige were the best places to go for hard-bop;
ESP, and in recent years CIMP, have become synonymous with free jazz. The
Italian imprint Black Saint has been releasing both avant-garde and straight-ahead
jazz since 1975, garnered a serious rep for albums by artists like David
Murray, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy. The Eastern Seaboard's
debut for Black Saint offers proof that the
New York trio has some strong chops. Tenor saxophonist Brent Bagwell has
a brawny tone and often fills his solos with long, drawn out wails similar
to Albert Ayler. The CD includes open-ended explorations
like "Around the Town with
Clinton Brown," along with the Sonny Rollins-esque "Plainclothes
Even when Bagwell lifts away from strict time, drummer Seth Nanaa and bassist
Jordon Schranz keep one foot each on the ground. [N]ow is the time to see
[them] -- especially before the Eastern Seaboard Trio hightails off to Europe
and decides to stay there."
- Mike Shanley; Pulp, Pittsburgh
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