Dave Ballou and Beephonk
Dave Ballou trumpet | Anthony Pirog guitar and effects | Adam Hopkins double bass | Mike Kuhl drums and cymbals
The title of this debut album from the band BeepHonk refers to the place where it all started in 2011: the Windup Space, in Baltimore. There, bassist Adam Hopkins organized weekly concerts through the Out Of Your Head Collective, which presented performances of improvisers in one-time-only combinations. Most never performed as a band again, but one remained active to this day, albeit in intervals due to the filled agendas of their members. Continuing thereafter as BeepHonk, Hopkins, guitarist Anthony Pirog (The Messthetics) and drummer Mike Kuhl assembled themselves around the trumpeter and composer Dave Ballou (Solo Trumpet, Clean Feed 2015), known for his appearances in both mainstream and creative jazz. They attempted a studio album, only to discover that the improvisations so central to the project were simultaneously more loose and focused in front of an audience. As a result, in 2017 they returned to The Windup Space to record its namesake album live. This is the happy result – a magnificent document of the virtues of collective interplay and creative score reading. There are some recognizable factors, like the way a simple line introduced by Ballou organizes everything, reminiscent of Steve Lacy, and Pirog’s use of delays and loops. The rest is very much their own thing, generally with short tunes beginning, developing and ending in a very natural way, without a single gram of fat.
Tracks 1 and 3 by Dave Ballou (daveballoumusic/BMI)
Track 2 by Ballou/Pirog/Hopkins/Kuhl
Recorded on March 27, 2017 | At The Windup Space, Baltimore MD | Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ed Tetreault
Produced by BeepHonk | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos