improvising chamber balkan ensemble
Vampire Suit creates a highly personal musical texture that takes you from the tribal dances of North Africa to the marshes of the Balkans. The band's unique sound comes from drawing on rhythms and forms of musical traditions from around the world and infusing them with ideas and harmonies from jazz, 20-century music, blues and other modern genres. The result is a musical journey that is at once personal and global, music that is at the same time unmistakably modern, yet feels old and familiar, a new tradition for a generation that freely draws on so many traditions. Managing to avoid categorization, the band speaks to music that exists in our collective unconsciousness in its intensity, directness and beauty.
"The music has enduring beauty that touches on the heart of the Middle East's musical culture while exhibiting western flair. Open improvisations and the spirit of the belly dance coexist, encouraging the traditional undulated hip movements as a supplement to the solid instrumentation...." Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine [full review]
"The title track jumps in, dizzying and polyrhythmic, ominous washes of distorted guitar building to a biting solo replete with evil chromatic percussive intensity. That feel recurs dramatically from time to time throughout the cd."
To help create that sound Vampire Suit draws on the talents of young New York musicians that have had experience in different musical setting in cultures. My musical vision is realized with the help of players that have played jazz, rock, Arab music, Balkan music, African music, and who make their living through any one of these styles. With a deep understanding and respect to all this music they are able to tap into something new that arises from all of these influences. These musicians include violinist Skye Steele, reed player Gary Pickard, bassist Reuben Radding and percussionist Rich Stein. Vampire Suit has also drawn on the talents of sax player Jeremy Powell, bass player Mike Savino, cellist Greg Heffernan and percussionists Kevin Garcia, Matt Kilmer and John Hadfield.
"If Bram Stoker's imaginary Transylvania had a jazz scene, the music might sound something like this."