Chicago and jazz have always had a strong relationship with one another. That bond will only be strengthened by the release of Restroy’s self-titled album, out tomorrow May 16th via 1980 Records!
The group is led by bass player & composer Chris Dammann but features an impressive number of influential Chicago jazz musicians including Avreeayl Ra, who has performed with Sun Ra Arkestra, Fontella Bass, Pharoah Sanders, & many more.
The instrumental album is a mix of improvisational tracks and more formal compositions. Tracks like “A Line And A Point” and “Close” don’t stray too far from that “classic jazz sound” until the introduction of synthesizers and modulation create a wall of electronic noise engulfing the other instruments.
Then there are songs like “Apart” & “Grids”—with driving synth lines and distorted cello solos these songs begin to share more similarities to the noise-rock world than the jazz-world. Imagine Sonic Youth meets Sun Ra but without a single guitar and you’ll start to get the idea.
Drummer Avreeayl Ra, soon to be recognized with an award from the Elastic Arts Foundation, is a legend in the Chicago jazz scene. His drumming on Restroy anchors the band and adds a backbone to the chaotic mix of instrumentation going on around him.
Restroy may not be for every jazz fan out there, but it’s sure to resonate with fans of the avant-garde who prefer jazz that pushes the envelope. The 7 tracks that make up Restroy meander and evolve as they go creating an album that is both rooted in the past but looking towards the future. These songs sit at the intersection of improvised experimentation and contemporary American jazz, blending the two in a way that is undeniably cool.