We have some truly great jazz bands in Portland, and Mr. Musu might as well be the poster boys of that undeniable fact. They play a funked up mix of jazz and progressive beats that’s polished enough to impress any jazz head, but that’s still danceable for laymen. In other words, you don’t have to know a thing about jazz to appreciate what Mr. Musu does. It’s easy for jazz fusion to eat its own head, so to speak; it can get so complicated in its mathematical time signatures that the listener starts to suffer. This is not the case with Mr. Musu. They treat the genre and their audience with respect, creating an exciting blend of fusion that also makes you wanna dance. It’s certainly not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night!
Glasys (Gil Assayas) might be making his foray into electronic pop, yet he’s still clearly a trained pianist at heart. His synth lines are impeccably programmed, and he has layers upon layers of subtle chord changes that take his songs beyond pop’s simplicity. Many of his tracks are brooding and at times downright creepy, and it’s this off-kilter quality that makes Glasys such a compelling listening experience. He’ll be joining five of Portland’s finest groups (including my personal favorites Cat Hoch and Astro Tan) for the 9th installment of the local compilation album Friends & Friends of Friends. You can pick your copy up at the gig (proceeds go to the non-profit crisis line Call to Safety) and even win some awesome door prizes! All-in-all, a pretty incredible night of music.
“Shoegaze soul” might seem like two genres that don’t really go together, but DoveDriver are here to prove you wrong. They have a groovy, jazzy feel, combined with soulful vocals, a little bit of hip-hop, and yes, even some lo-fi shoegaze elements. The level of creativity in this band is exceptional, and the songs are as cool as the other side of the pillow. The band features one of Portland’s most renowned producers, Teddy Presberg, plus the instrumental prowess of LeClare Stevenson. They’ll be performing alongside Brooklyn’s Moon Hooch, a jazz band made for the year 2016. They have a bombastic mix of electronica and jazz that’s incredibly modern. If you’re a fan of Coltrane or you’re just looking to catch a show outside of the indie rock genre for a change, this is the gig for you.
Marissa Abruzzini is the music editor for mxdwn.com, a freelance journalist, guitarist, and professional music snob. She spends most of her time poking around backstage at Portland’s seediest music venues.
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